Roberts comes to Bowdoin following four years as the Associate Head Coach at Bates College. Roberts has been heavily involved with the Portland Rugby Club, having played for the Club since 2014 while also serving as Captain and in multiple coaching capacities. A graduate of Northumbria University (England) with a BA in Sport Development and Coaching, Roberts holds both Rugby Football Union and USA Rugby level 2 and 200 certifications, respectively. He is also a certified K-12 physical education teacher and has most recently served as a teacher at the Maine Department of Corrections – A.R. Gould School, where he worked closely with at-risk youth.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gareth to our community and look forward to following his success on and off the pitch,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. “Gareth brings a wealth of rugby knowledge and a concerted commitment to the broad based development of people and support of their well-being to our program.”
Rick Scala has been the foundation of the Bowdoin College men’s rugby club for two decades, leading his charges to a winning percentage of more than 70% since his arrival. His resume includes 15 winning seasons and 10 playoffs berths, including a program-best eight victories in both 1991 and 2001.
Gary Devoe was named head coach of the Bowdoin men’s rugby team in the summer of 2016. A long-time assistant for the Polar Bears, Devoe succeeds Rick Scala, who stepped down after thirty years at the helm this spring.
“We are thrilled to announce the hiring of Gary Devoe as the leader of our Men’s Rugby Club at Bowdoin,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. “Gary has an intimate knowledge of the culture and operations of our program and his experience as a player, coach and international referee will be a valuable asset to our students going forward.”
A graduate of Colby College, Devoe stayed connected with the sport following graduation as a player and then player-coach of the Portland Men’s Rugby Club. He enjoyed a playing career overseas for Northern Ireland¹s Portadown Rugby Club before returning stateside to become an official, where he refereed locally, nationally and internationally, including several international test matches. He has been assisting coach Scala and the Polar Bears for thirty years and is also currently a World Rugby educator, training new referees.
“I am honored and humbled to be following in Coach Scala’s footsteps,” said Devoe. “Bowdoin Rugby has a long tradition of camaraderie, competitive rugby and developing both great team players and strong leaders, on and off the field. I hope to carry that proud tradition into the future.”
Devoe recently retired as a Fire Captain in the Portland Fire Department after 32 years. He has two grown daughters and lives in Gorham with his wife, Heidi Osborn.