Paul Keeler
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Paul Keeler

Paul Keeler
Date of birth (1971-04-17) April 17, 1971 (age 47)
Place of birthQueens, New York
UniversityCanisius College of Buffalo, New York
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Canisius College RFC
Buffalo Old Boys RFC
Rockaway RFC
Old Blue RFC
Teams coached
Years Team
Old Blue RFC
San Francisco Golden Gate
Santa Clara University
San Francisco Rush
Correct as of June 7, 2016

Paul Keeler (born April 17, 1971) is an American rugby union coach and former player.[1] Keeler has coached Old Blue RFC, San Francisco Golden Gate, and Santa Clara University. In 2016, Keeler was the head coach of PRO Rugby team San Francisco Rush.

Playing career

Keeler began playing rugby for Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, before moving on to play with the Buffalo Old Boys RFC and Rockaway RFC men's clubs. Keeler moved on to play with Old Blue RFC of the Rugby Super League, reaching the playoffs four times including two RSL semifinals.[2] Keeler was also a MetNY and NERFU select player during this period.[]



Keeler moved into coaching as a player/coach and was assistant coach to the Australian coach Geoff Mould of Australian schoolboys fame. From 2003 through 2005 Keeler coached Old Blue's Division One side, securing consecutive playoff appearances. Keeler's rep side coaching experiences include being the MetNY select side coach since 2004, and the unbeaten Northeast Select Developmental XV known as The Beagles since 2005.

Keeler coached the Old Blue (New York) Super League side in 2006 and 2007. He guided them to the Super League semifinals in 2006, leading the club to re-sign him to a two-year contract.[3] Keeler led the team to the RSL quarterfinals in 2007.

Keeler served as the director of rugby and head coach of San Francisco Golden Gate RFC from 2008 to 2012. During those five years, Keeler led SFGG to a 32-9 record in the Rugby Super League, including a 7-3 record in the playoffs and two national championships.[4] In In 2008 he led SFGG to a playoff berth, losing a close match in the quarterfinals to eventual champions the New York Athletic Club. In 2009, with Keeler and the aid of assistant coaches and long time club stalwarts Grant Wells and Karl Thomson, the San Francisco club continued their winning ways with a 6-1 record, losing only to rival Belmont Shore. In the playoffs, the club routed the Dallas Harlequins in the quarterfinals, notched an injury-time win over the Denver Barbarians in the semifinals, and won its first championship by defeating Life 23-13 in the RSL final. In 2010, SFGG returned to the final but lost to NYAC. In 2011, SFGG reached the finals for the third consecutive year, this time defeating Life for the championship.[5]


Keeler became the head coach of the Santa Clara University rugby team in 2012.[6] In his first season as head coach, the Broncos posted a 6-1 record in the Northern California Conference of Division 1-AA. As league champions, they earned a berth to the D-1AA playoffs, a program first. Santa Clara accepted an invitation to Division 1-A, joining the California Conference for the 2012-13 season.

PRO Rugby

In December 2016, Keeler was announced as the head coach for San Francisco Rush in PRO Rugby.[7]


Keeler applied for the vacant head coach position of the United States national rugby union team in 2012, but the post was given to Mike Tolkin.[8]

College coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing
Santa Clara Broncos (California Conference) (2012-2015)
2012 Santa Clara 7-4 6-1 1st
2013 Santa Clara 6-6 2-5 4th
2014 Santa Clara 7-1 5-1 T-1st
2015 Santa Clara 4-7 1-3
Total: 24-18
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "O'Sullivan names USA Selects pool for ARC". September 11, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "Old Blue Re-Signs Keeler as Coach", Goff On Rugby, October 9, 2006.
  3. ^ "Old Blue Re-Signs Keeler as Coach", Goff On Rugby, October 9, 2006.
  4. ^ "Keeler Stepping Down from SFGG Post", Rugby Today, July 20, 2012.
  5. ^ "Keeler Stepping Down from SFGG Post", Rugby Today, July 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "School posts attract senior coaches",, July 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "Keeler Named PRO Rugby San Francisco Coach", This Is American Rugby, December 3, 2015
  8. ^ "Keeler Stepping Down from SFGG Post", Rugby Today, July 20, 2012.

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