We are glad to formally announce that Jack Baird will be joining us for our summer 2016 7s season as Head Coach. Jack currently serves as Director of Rugby at King’s College School in Cambridge, England, in addition to his roles as Head Coach of the Cambridge University Women’s program and the South East England U18 Girls.
Jack possesses five years of experience specific to women’s rugby. His initial role was with Premiership champions Richmond Women RFC from 2011-2014, which he assisted coaching the 1
XV to two league titles and one league cup victory. During this time he also began coaching within the South East England U18 Girls, which won gold in the last 2 years in the U.K. School Games Sevens Competition. Alongside these roles, he also played a part in the growth of the Scotland 7s program by coaching sessions based in London, aimed at identifying English-based talent for the international arena.
After working with Richmond Women, in September 2014 Jack went on to transform the women’s rugby program at Cambridge University. He led the team to 2-time record-breaking varsity match wins (47-0 and 52-0). The most recent Varsity win came against an Oxford team, led by World Cup winning coach Gary Street, at the first women’s varsity match at Twickenham Stadium.
Jack is very excited to share his coaching experience to the All Blues this summer. He says that “sessions will be designed with a European/Southern Hemisphere influence which may be different but will hopefully bring a freshness and a challenge to every session.” Jack will be joined by assistant coach Sarah Davis, a former All Blue and current assistant coach for Cal Women’s Rugby. Sarah has been playing rugby for more than 15 years, and has been with the All Blues since 2010, serving in various capacities including captain of our past 7s teams. We look forward to working with them!
Player Profile: Jessica Anne Turner
Photo: Jen Humphries
Rugby nickname: JT
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Hooker and utility back (15s); Utility forward (7s)
All Blue since: 2012
Occupation: Strength and conditioning coach
JT first got into rugby while in college at Humboldt State. She was working out at the gym in hopes of making the soccer team, when a couple of rugby girls spotted her one day and tried to recruit her. She promised that she would check out what this “rugby thing” was all about if soccer didn’t work out. Later, at JT's first rugby practice, she was nervous about tackling and getting hurt. But after being reassured that she’d be taught how to handle contact, JT saw the light. She discovered that rugby “was hella fun…it’s so liberating to run around and smash!”
The path to being an All Blue was an interesting one for JT as she had been “retired” from rugby for five years when she decided to get back into it. Curious about the higher levels of the game, she went and tried out with the Pacific Coast Grizzlies All Star team. There, she met a bunch of All Blues players, as well as Kathy Flores, who was coaching the All Blues at the time. JT eventually decided to move up to Berkeley. Despite knowing nothing about 7s when she set foot on the pitch that summer (which earned her the nickname “Tank” from Laura), JT fell in love with the game of 7s rugby, and decided that she “wanted to be really good at it at some point.”
And people were key to JT’s development as a player. She is especially thankful for having worked with Kathy Flores, Laura Cabrera, and Irene Gardner. According to JT, Kathy was the one who encouraged her to come to Berkeley to play for the All Blues, and who “gave [her] a shot when others probably were nervous about that choice.” Laura, who had “no sugar in her coaching cabinet” pushed her and others to their breaking point, which JT felt was important in knowing how to deal with high stress competition, especially for 7s. And Irene, whose “solid work ethic” and “peaceful energy” were things JT admired, was a good role model for her. Irene “[knew] how to bring the best out of you no matter who you are and what you know.”
As a player, JT sees her versatility on the field as an asset to the team. She likes the challenge of “being forced to be uncomfortable and learn new skills in an accelerated fashion.” Her flexibility on the field also allows her to fill in voids where the team needs her, and where, if she is call upon, “will literally work [her] ass off to figure out how to do the job right.” Matching her versatility on the field, sometimes she gets more fired up, and sometimes she’s the calm one, adjusting her energy to match the task and the team’s.
When we asked JT if she had passions outside of rugby, she mentioned “more rugby?” Her eventual goal is to coach elite level players when she retires from competition. She is a “fitness and wellness nerd to the max,” interested in the intersection of mind, body and spirit. Unabashed, she says that an ideal career for her would be “something at the intersection of an elite rugby coach, a hippie healer, a strength and conditioning coach, and a comedian. I will inspire you to achieve eternal peace, personal greatness, also yell at you for not executing well, push your multi-dimensional limits, while cracking terrible jokes at water breaks.”
The monthly Player Profile series aims to highlight an All Blue currently playing during each of the 3 seasons. Curious about someone in our community? Let us know who you'd like featured!
June 5 Alumnae Brunch
Sunday, 10 AM - 2 PM
1616 Harmon Street, Berkeley, CA
We’re still 2 years away from our 40th anniversary party - and that's just too long to wait for some quality All Blues Alumnae action. Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 5th for a casual brunch in Berkeley to re-connect with old friends, support the current team and nosh on some delicious treats (prepared by our very own (former chef) Lisa Dombroski).
Anyone who loves the All Blues are welcome--you, your significant other, kids, friends, supporters–anyone (but please leave dogs at home). Menu includes breakfast quiches, pastries, bacon (duh), fruits and vegetable salads, coffee, tea, mimosas & Bloody Mary's.
COST: $15 for no booze / $30 for booze
RSVP: PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org (under "Friends & Family" and make "Brunch" your note) or
to confirm your spot and pay when you arrive on June 5th.
BRING WITH YOU: any donations for future Yard Sales (we're having another one in August), any All Blues history you want to give back to the team (old playing kit, trophies, pictures, recorded stories), any old rugby gear you want to donate to new players, cash $ for raffle tickets.