Teacher swaps Yorkshire coast for the US’s Windy City to take up rugby coaching job

Simon Smith
Simon Smith
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A PE TEACHER and rugby coach is swapping Filey for Chicago this summer to take up a dream job in the United States.

Simon Smith, 53, has taught hundreds, if not thousands, of children at Filey School over a 24-year career.

But now the opportunity has come up for him to cross the Atlantic and coach rugby sevens more than 4,000 miles away.

Mr Smith, who has played for both Scarborough and Bridlington rugby clubs, is set to take charge of the Chicago Blaze rugby club’s seven-a-side programme after accepting a once-in-a-lifetime offer from a friend who lives out there.

“I’ve kept in touch with Jonty Tinsley since he emigrated via Facebook,” he said.

“Just before Christmas he messaged me to ask if I’d be interested in a potential job co-ordinating their sevens programme.

“It’s always been a dream to do something like this and with rugby sevens now being an Olympic event, it’s a format of the game that is growing world-wide.

“I’ve spoken with my children and family and they are really excited for me. I consider myself very lucky. I don’t know where it will lead, however I’ll just take it as it comes.”

Mr Smith has been teaching for 30 years and for most of that time has been at Filey School, which changes its name to Ebor Academy Filey soon as a result of a new sponsor – Ebor Academy Trust – taking over.

“The school has been great about it,” Mr Smith said.

“Exciting things are coming to the school and while it would be good to be a part of it, this is an opportunity I just can’t miss.”