Born and raised in the Land of Enchantment, Hammon mentions she was not naturally athletic when she first started playing sports and chose to play rugby because of the community.
“It wasn’t about the sport for me when I first started,” Hammon said. “It was about a really big community with a family emphasis.”
Throughout her rugby career, Hammon has played with the Atomic Sisters Rugby Club, American Rugby Pro Training Center, and the University of New Mexico. These three organizations contributed to her decision to pursue higher level rugby opportunities as both a player and a coach.
While attending the University of New Mexico, Hammon orchestrated her own rookie rugby clinic as a part of her senior thesis. This project helped her realize exactly what she wanted to do once she graduated from college, spread enthusiasm for rugby and teach young players all about the culture of the sport.
Ready for a change of scenery, Andie traveled to Colorado and contacted Jamie Burke, Glendale’s Youth Rugby Coordinator, to get into coaching as soon as possible.
While in Colorado, she started playing for the Glendale Merlins, now known as the Colorado Gray Wolves Women’s rugby team. She continues to play for the team while handling her duties as the new Youth Rugby Coordinator for the City of Glendale. Hammon assumed this new role July 1st as Burke moves into a full-time coaching position with the United States Women’s National Team as they prepare for the 2022 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Hammon’s Colorado coaching career began here in Glendale, helping coach the Winter Indoor Rugby program in 2020. She then took charge of the youth rugby school programs and has been able to coach physical education classes locally. She has also helped coach Glendale Youth Rugby’s annual Girls High School Camp hosted here at Infinity Park.
Andie wants to expand the school programs and build awareness of rugby at a youth level.
“It’s a personal joy of mine to see kids learn about rugby,” Hammon said. “A lot of times in school programs most kids have never heard of rugby and it’s an exciting new thing. It makes me really happy when kids ask about it after.”
As Glendale’s new Youth Rugby Coordinator, Hammon wants to bring the sense of community to the program. She wants players to connect with their teammates, opponents, and coaches.
“I am most excited to continue learning,” Hammon said. “I have been with Glendale Youth Rugby for a while, but every time I do a different camp, I learn something new.
Hammon knows that she would likely never be in this position if it wasn’t for the mentorship and motivation from her sister, who she calls her biggest supporter. She also credits her family, and her parents, as well as the rest of the New Mexico rugby community.
“I’m excited to learn more about how a good program is run and what young athletes want to get out of our programs. I want to cater to that and what they need as young, aspiring athletes.”
We would like to thank Jamie Burke for all the work she’s done for Glendale Youth Rugby over the last few years and wish her the best of luck with the USA Women’s team.
Please join us with a warm welcome to Andie Hammon!