Apr 14, 2020
Paul Emerick grew up in Pella and was a talented football player and wrestler. After a first-team All-State senior campaign, he took his talents across town to play for the Central College Dutch. As a freshman, college football was more about meetings and workouts than time on the field, and so Emerick decided to transfer to the University of Northern Iowa for his sophomore year. An invite to check out the Panther Rugby Club opened his eyes to a new opportunity.
I thought he might have been talking about the band The Eagles
Paul Emerick established himself as a standout player for UNI and then learned about the US Eagles. By playing for the Iowa team and then the Midwest team, Emerick was selected for the national team; earning his first cap in 2003. Emerick’s professional career lasted from 2004-2013 and took him to Italy, Wales, and Northern Ireland before ending his career in London. Emerick finished his career with 3 World Cups 54 caps, and 14 tries for the US Eagles; good for second on the all-time list.
Now, Emerick serves as the skills coach for the Houston SabreCats, a member of Major League Rugby. Rugby is among the fastest-growing sports in America and that is a key mission of MLR. The Iowa Youth Rugby Association has been growing rapidly over the last few years with many high school teams establishing clubs and the Des Moines Rugby Club hosting the state tournament at their facility in West Des Moines.