University of Derby
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Orange and Blue
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Head coach email:
Email John Stevenson
University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB
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The Derby Braves were formed in September 1995 through the efforts of the Students Union and a number of students, notably Julia Holdway, Lee Willitts, and Dave Carr. Soon thereafter, the committee appointed Phil Rodger as head coach. After obtaining kit, and subsequently their name from the local senior team known as the Burton/Derby Braves who had folded at the beginning of the 1995 senior league season, the team held regular practices leading to a pair of games in a tournament at the University of Hertfordshire. The Braves lost both games to Nottingham and Hertfordshire but through this gained entry into the university league. In 1996-97, the Braves' first year in BCAFL, they lost every game, but they showed a superb spirit.
In the twelve seasons under Coach Rodger the Braves have had 2 winning seasons, and a combined record of 32-60-4. Their highest single game win was a 74-0 shutout over the APU Phantoms on the 6th of February 2005.
Without question the biggest and brightest star to emerge from the Braves programme since their creation is running back Mike Andrew, who accomplished an unparalleled 31 rushes for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns in the British Senior League Division 1 bowl game, for which he was awarded the games MVP. After successful NFL Europa trials in Barcelona Mike was then selected to play for the Amsterdam Admirals.
Andrew has since played for the Braunschweig Lions of the German Football League, and in his first season the Lions also won the GFL championship and Andrew repeated the achievement of winning the MVP award.
At the end of the 2007/08 season the Braves parted ways with their Head Coach of twelve years Phil Rodger, in what was a major redevelopment of the team. Soon thereafter, the Braves committee led by then team president Caleb Jackson announced the appointment of John Stevenson as the new Head Coach. Coach Stevenson had previously worked with the Braves as defensive co-ordinator in the 2004, 2005 & 2006 seasons.
Joining Coach Stevenson in the expanded coaching team this season are Simon Juniper, Gareth Ellison, Matthew Quincey, Rob Urquhart, Will Bruckshaw, Vikram Biant, Caleb Jackson, Matt Penrice and Luke Charnock. Implemented changes include revised playing philosophies, classroom sessions, strength and conditioning programme using the brand new University gym and athlete testing facilities and overall a much more intense training programme. Change always takes time to bear fruit, but the Braves are showing signs of becoming a very strong, competitive team within their division the MAC, popularly regarded as the toughest conference in the BUAFL.
Successive team presidents James Beckett & Jason Robinson have built on the solid foundations from Caleb Jackson to turn the Braves into a highly motivated, well funded team. Who now play their home games on the excellent 3G surface field, the team has invested heavily in new playing equipment, training equipment and team strips. American football is an expensive sport to participate in, but the great financial management of these successive committees means the students at Derby benefit from some of the lowest team fees in the country making the sport we love much more accessible for all.
This years committee under new president Steven Archer & the coaching staff under Coach Stevenson are focused on continuing the great progress already achieved and look forward to some great encounters with some very good teams this season in the MAC.
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