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NEW GLASGOW – As cliché as it might sound – for the love of the game – that’s exactly why Scott Taylor started coaching rugby five years ago.
That didn’t mean that his love for rugby couldn’t translate into him being recognized for his contribution to the sport – which he was last weekend at Sport Nova Scotia’s annual Ricoh Sport Awards.
Taylor was presented with the 2014 Rugby Nova Scotia coach of the year award, which also meant he was in the early consideration for the overall coach of the year award for the province.
“It’s a huge honour actually,” he said on being recognized for the first time. “I was surprised for sure, but it was a happy surprise.”
He said Pictou County Rugby Club president Dougal MacInnis asked him to select a referee and player to be nominated for provincial awards, but never thought anything about a coaching award.
“He (Dougal) didn’t mention anything about the coach’s award of course, so we had a player and referee award nominees,” said Taylor. “I never gave it any other thought until Rugby Nova Scotia had called and let me know that I was the winner of coach of the year.”
Although his coaching involvement in the sport has only been for five years, he got his start 30 years ago playing the sport. It was an old teammate and buddy of his, Joe MacDonald, who convinced him to help on the sideline with the North Nova boys team.
He has been with the Gryphons for five years, but added the coaching duties for the Pictou County Rugby Club two years ago. Last year he was also a co-coach of the Rugby Nova Scotia U-18 team with MacDonald.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be a coach or not,” said Taylor. “Five years ago I was approached by Joe to come on board and help with North Nova. I definitely said I’d help out and it just steamrolled from there.”
Those teams all take a significant amount of time and commitment, which is all volunteered time, but being involved with rugby is something Taylor wouldn’t change.
“It comes right back to my love of the game of rugby. I’ve played a number of sports in my life and I always came back to rugby. I played high-level hockey, high-level ball, but I’ve always come back to rugby. It was my grassroots sport that I fell in love with.
“Again, it was an honour to be on stage with all those terrific volunteer coaches that were there – some of them volunteer, some of them professional – but it was a real honour, it really was.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris