Saturday, November 27, 2010
BYU Rugby Forever: As far as looking a little more long term, just in terms of the goals that you have for the program and this vision that you've mentioned, do you have any specific dates or time ranges that you're shooting for accomplishing these specific goals?
Aaron Webber: One of the other challenges that we have is coming in basically at the beginning of a season: It doesn't give you much time to get traction before the season's now halfway through and then over. You know, we've only got another two months, slight less than two months, and then the season's done. And a lot of those things we want to do have a long tail, so you've got to work your way into them and those sort of things. So, we'll be able to add some value this year.
I'd like to think that there would be some demonstrable steps forward for next season, 'cause we get the whole off-season and preseason to get things in place. And I'd like to think that in the sort of three to five year plan, we get to the point where we're funded; the money's in the bank before the season starts; and we've got programs in place that communicate effectively. I mean, we're not going to keep everybody happy, but there are routines and structure in place to move ourselves forward and manage the business. I'd like to be involved in that for as long as Davy and the other guys want me to be. You know if they perceive I'm not pulling my weight, then they kick me out and get someone else in.
But you know, I just want to add value where I can, and I think the two to four year time frame is an appropriate one to get everything in place that needs to be in place, and there's always the tweaking and the fine-tuning that needs to take place from there. But yeah, years two and three, I think, will be the ones where as the giant leads forward in terms of structure and systems to support the team.
BYU Rugby Forever: As far as BYU Rugby alumni and fans, just off the top of your head, what specific activities or responsibilities or things could they do to help in this effort and help support the Cougar Rugby Foundation and the whole rugby program at BYU?
Aaron Webber: I think there's a number of things. First is just talk about the game. Talk about the team; talk about the game. I think there's a growing awareness of rugby in the United States. You know, it's one of the fast growing sports at the high school level. I mean, case in point in Utah here, when I first started coaching at the high school level there were seven teams I think in Utah and this year there's something like twenty-nine ... and that's just in four years. So it's some significant growth going on; see, the chatter is out there about the sport. So just talking the sport up.
If you're anywhere near a game that takes place, be at the game. Drag friends and family and kids and neighbors along. Spread the word in that regard, both from a BYU perspective as well as a rugby perspective; ideally, a BYU Rugby perspective. You know, general chatter, going to games, home or away.
Write a check, send us some money. I'm that blunt about it. If you don't have the time, then you know send us your ten dollars, a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, or ten thousand dollars. Or, chat with your employer, and say, "Hey look, as part of our community engagement spending, can you sponsor the BYU Rugby team?" and those sorts of things.
There's all sorts of ways people can be engaged in it: go to the websites, go to the blogs, just keep yourself in sync with what's going on and sooner or later something will spark an interest or there'll be the area where you can say, "Well, I could help there," and so you can step in and add some value.
BYU Rugby Forever: Well, thanks for your time. Any final thoughts or anything else you would share with the BYU Rugby Community out there?
Aaron Webber: Yes, thank you for your support thus far. And I don't want to seem ungrateful, but we've got to notch it up, myself included, in terms of our level of support for the team. So, don't yell at me or chase me away if I come to you and ask you to do something or contribute. Just continue to love the game, continue to be involved where you can.
I think we're at the cusp of some outstanding things for BYU. Will we forever be at the level where we're at? No, we'll have some good years and some bad years. But I think we're operating at a level now where the expectations are realistic enough to assume we're going to be in the Final Four and compete at the Final Game and win it more often than not. And so I think that's a successful program, that's a program that you can feel proud to be a part of.
For you and I, it was back in the old days; we helped lay the foundation. And that alone should be a sense of pride. But then to be able to come back, you know, circle back around, and provide some degree of value, add to that. Once you've learned at BYU, gone out, and earned something in the marketplace, come back and return that to the team.
You see some players out there you think would be great for BYU, let's hear about them. You think there's some things we could do better and faster and stronger, let's hear about it. And more often than not, we'll come back to you and say, "Great idea; help us do it!" So, just being involved, being aware. We have the beginnings of a great family here, and I just want to build on that where I can and augment that where possible.
BYU Rugby Forever: Thanks for all your support; we look forward to doing what we can to help you out!
Aaron Webber: You're welcome.
Editor's note: This piece is the third part of a three-part, extended interview originally audio-recorded by BYU Rugby Forever on 3 March, 2010, in Provo, Utah.
Due to the seventeen-and-a-half-minute length of the recording, it has been transcribed and separated into three sections for readability and presentation purposes.