FNB UWC hand top job to ex-Blitzboks mentor Paul Treu

FNB Varsity Cup

FNB UWC have confirmed the appointment of Paul Treu, an alumnus, as their new Head Coach.

Treu, 49, arrives at the 'Operation Room' with a wealth of experience. Following a four-year stint as Springbok Sevens player, in 2004 he took over as head coach of the Blitzboks - staying in the job for nine years. Therafter followed a stint as head coach of the emerging Kenya Sevens squad and five years at Western Province Rugby in a variety of roles, including Stormers defense coach and the union's Performance and Innovation Manager. Most recently, Treu has been High Performance 7s Consultant for the Japan Rugby Football Union.

“I just want to thank everyone at the University of the Western Cape for appointing me as the head coach of the Varsity Cup team. I started my career at the University as a player and now I’m returning as a coach. I’m really excited to start working with the team and the staff and everyone at the University,” Treu told UWC.ac.za.

READ MORE: UWC's official press release confirming Treu's appointment

Swellendam-born Treu graduated from the University in 1993 with a Higher Diploma in Education. His thirst for learning saw him subsequently gain a Masters in Sports Directorship from Manchester Metropolitan University, a Masters in Educational Psychology from the Nelson Mandela University, and an Honours in Education from the Stellenbosch University. 

Treu, effectively, is the permanent successor to the late Chester Williams as Lionel Langenhoven stepped-up in an interim capacity for this year's COVID-19 curtailed FNB Varsity Cup campaign. He said that he's planning to use both his vast rugby knowledge and network combined with learnings from his tertiary qualifications in his new role.

“I believe that the next generation in rugby will require even more innovative approaches to performance than ever before. As technology has become more pervasive and information more freely accessible, it is the ability to process, filter and commit to what is important in the ‘big data’ landscape that will set organisations apart. This is as true in sport as it is of any other industry. 

“In this regard, the network alluded to previously, which I have access to through my international work and experiences and studies, as well as an ability to manage and interpret the details while retaining a clear vision of the ‘big picture’, are key competitive advantages that I believe I bring to this role.”

UWC's Director of Sport, Mandla Gagayi, spoke to why Treu was the ideal candidate for the job and acknowledge the contribution of Langenhoven in difficult circumstances.

“Mr Treu’s appointment reinforces our strategy towards promotion of balance between academic and sport. It also reaffirms our commitment to the transformation of rugby as a sport where black coaches are usually overlooked or under-utilised.

“I want to take this opportunity to also thank interim coach, Mr Langenhoven, for ably guiding the University through a difficult Varsity Cup campaign after the sudden and painful loss of Coach Chester.”