Written By: Karen Gasbarino-Knutt
Andrew Coe is only 21 years old. But his ambitions and schedule betray a soul much, much older than that. Many people surrounding Andrew would agree that this is so. He impresses. Both on and off the rugby pitch.
Most Canadian Rugby supporters will know Coe’s name because of the impressive debut year he’s had with Rugby Canada’s senior men’s team; the fast winger who has been either fullback or wearing the 14 shirt, while yet to score a test try, has had a couple of really impressive runs down the wing and a spectacular almost-try that was inevitably disallowed by the TMO. The spark of promise Coe consistently shows when he represents Canada was deservedly rewarded when he was named Man of the Match in the loss to the Maori All Blacks on November 3rd. It was the biggest match of Coe’s senior 15s career to date, and a glimpse of what is surely to come.
Andrew Coe hails from Markham, Ontario. He’s a product of Rugby Ontario and his home team is Markham Irish, who are extremely proud of their player. Coe captained Canada’s U18 team while still playing for the home side, before he headed west to attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He lived in Vancouver for three years, playing for UBC and Captaining the Rugby Canada U20 team. This year has seen even more change for Coe; he moved to Victoria to train at the Rugby Canada Centre of Excellence with both the 7s and 15s squads. The training schedule moved to a more full-time role for him.
He has impressed coaches with what they call Coe’s “whole package” approach to life; that he’s maintained exemplary grades at the Sauder School of Business while training and touring and giving his all to his team as well is what makes Coe something of a marvel.
As he’s out in Victoria, he is working on his 4th year of studies part time online. Coe admits he has to be self-motivated and driven in order to get his work done, but he’ll be the first to tell you that this is no problem for him.
“I have a specialization in Operations and Logistics. I consider myself pretty analytical and operations and Logistics is heavily weighted with statistics. I’m definitely driven to find solutions and complete tasks,” admits Coe with a smile. But then he adds, more seriously: “It's tough. Some nights I don't get very much sleep, staying up late to finish my school work.”
What most people don’t know is how very driven Andrew Coe is, and how that’s going to take him very far, both on the pitch and in life.
Another detail most don’t realize about this talented, fast-paced and fearless 21 year-old is that he’s Ædelhard’s own Content Manager and Director of Product Testing; he organizes our content each week for our newsletter The Scrum, manages all of our writers and their schedules, and is a valuable contributor to discussions on content strategies and approaches to how we'll test our merchandise and with whom – he’s helping to build Ædelhard from the ground-up. He’s an integral player to OUR team as well as to Team Canada and UBC. And a stellar student all at the same time. How does he make it work?
Aside from a lack of sleep, it’s the will Coe has to make it all work that will prove successful for him in the end. “I was fortunate enough to get into one of the best schools in the world, so priority number one for me is to graduate from UBC; school comes before rugby. Excelling in both rugby and academics is something that I strive to achieve.” So far, he’s making it work well.
Being part of Ædelhard is also important for Andrew. The opportunity to work for this growing company came when Coe took a course that Darrell Kopke, founder of Ædelhard, was teaching. Andrew was hooked. “After taking his class, he offered me the opportunity to join Ædelhard and I couldn't say no. I get the chance to work and tell stories about the sport I love.
“Ædelhard has given me a chance to reach my career aspirations, which is inevitably to help fledgling companies develop and make a name for themselves in the world. For me, helping Ædelhard grow and disrupt the rugby world is a goal that I am pursuing and enjoying doing so.”
Sadly for Andrew, he’s not currently enjoying riding the wave as much as he might have been two months ago. On the verge of being called back to Damian McGrath’s 7s side for the HSBC Sevens Series in 2018, Coe got himself caught on the wrong side of a big Fijian in the last game he played for Canada on November 25th in France. While big tackles are not usually a problem for the fearless Coe, this time he ended up breaking his arm. He returned home the day after the game to have surgery on the break to his right radius.
The same match also saw an unfortunate injury to another talented back, Ciaran Hearn, putting Canada in a tough spot. Coe admits his disappointment. “I was really looking forward for the chance to play and help Canada qualify for the Rugby World Cup. I mean, it sucks that I may miss that opportunity… but the only thing I can do now is focus on my recovery and get back as soon as I can.”
Given Coe’s track record for getting the job done and meeting his challenges head-on, this set-back is not bound to keep him down long. About his rehabilitation, Coe’s fervent hope is that rehab and recovery will go so well that he’ll make the squad that will be set to face Uruguay.
“My goal is to come back bigger, stronger, faster, better. I'm taking my time off as an opportunity to improve despite not being able to play. It might be a stretch to get back for the Uruguay World Cup Qualifiers, but if there is the slightest chance, I’ll take it. Other than that, I am going to aim to be fully ready to go for the Vegas and Vancouver 7s series stops. Thankfully, I have an upper body injury so I can still work on speed, conditioning and lower body strength.”
Coe laughs. “The Watt Bike is going to be my new best friend!”
While it’s unfortunate that Coe is going to miss Damian McGrath’s call up to the 7s squad for the first part of the new year, he has a tendency to put everything into perspective. “I still have time to get back into 7s form for the last six legs of the circuit. Then there is also the World Cup of Rugby Sevens and the Commonwealth Games to look forward to as well.”
For the present, Andrew plans to get himself ahead of the game with his studies, and to focus on his rehab so he can get back out onto the pitch.
For the future, Coe’s path is headed straight to success. His future ambitions are lofty, but definitely attainable for this talented back. “As I mentioned, my first priority is to graduate from the Sauder School of Business. Beyond that, I have always wanted to be part of a Rugby World Cup from the 15's code of the game. In terms of 7s, I have set a goal to make it to the Olympics ever since 7s were introduced to the games.”
Andrew Coe is definitely a marvel. He’s admirable, likeable, and self-effacing, all great traits for a future star of the rugby and business world. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Coe is going to make a name of himself; he would accept no less. But he’s humble at the same time, and he realizes that no man is an Island.
“I couldn't do everything that I have done without the help and support of the countless friends and teammates along the way. I take a piece of everyone I meet along this journey,” he says with the wisdom that is beyond his years, and which makes him the most awe-inspiring. He adds, maybe a bit wistfully: “most importantly my family has been the biggest influence on me. The love and support they give me has made me the person that I am today.”
Get ready world. Andrew Coe is on your doorstep. And Ædelhard feels fortunate indeed that he’s one of ours.
Speedy recovery, Fast Boots. We have no doubt you’ll be back bigger than ever!