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Day in the Life: Athlete at University of Tennessee

Michael McGettigan

Year in School: Sophomore (Class of 2026) Major: Sports Management Minor: Business and Psychology Years Playing Rugby: 8 years Position in Rugby: Inside Center



SEC Champion 2022

2022 National Collegiate Rugby All-Star (Southeast Bears)

What was your process of being recruited?

I actually was not recruited too much. Coming from California, the University of Tennessee was not really on my radar until the spring of my senior year of high school. Following my visit to the university, I expressed my interest in the program, and Coach Marty Bradley connected with me. He illustrated the club's goals, values, and expectations, and they aligned with my personal aspirations.

What are your favorite parts about being a member of the rugby program?

My favorite part of being a member of this program is, hands-down, my teammates. Everyone on the team is extremely driven both on and off the pitch. The University of Tennessee rugby program offers so much more than just rugby. Each player values improvement and pushes their teammates to be their best version.

What are your favorite parts about being a student at your school?

My favorite part of being a student at the school is all the available opportunities and help. Everyone has a home on our campus, whether with sports, greek life, or one of our 500 clubs and organizations.

How do you balance schoolwork and rugby?

While rugby is definitely time-consuming, I often find it easier to manage my schoolwork because of our strict schedule. For example, I know I must finish my work before practice, which helps eliminate procrastination and stress. Our practice and game schedule is determined in the summer before the season, so everyone knows when they need their work done.

What does a typical day and/or week look like for you?

On average, I wake up between 5:30 am - 8 am and make a breakfast burrito in my apartment. Then, I either go to practice, the gym, or a film session, depending on the day. I currently have classes each day from 9:45 am-12:30 pm. After my classes, I give a two-hour tour of the campus to prospective students with the UT Ambassador program. Practice is 6-8 pm, so I use the time between the tour and practice to complete my schoolwork. After practice, I shower, make dinner, send my mom a picture of my dinner to make her proud, and watch whatever sport is on TV with my roommates.

What’s the biggest challenge about playing rugby at your school?

The biggest challenge of playing rugby at the University of Tennessee is the respect and funding we receive. While we are currently playing at the D1-AA level, I strongly believe we have the talent and coaching staff to compete with every team in the nation. Additionally, with more money, we could expand our possibilities of traveling and playing more programs.

Besides rugby, what else are you involved in on campus?

Along with rugby, I am currently in Phi Delta Theta, a social fraternity on campus. Additionally, I am a UT Ambassador, which works with admissions to give information sessions and tours to prospective students.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with a high school player who is interested in your school?

At the University of Tennessee, we are motivated to be great. The growth of the program within the year that I have been here has been exponential. By joining this program, you access a family of players, coaches, and alumni who want to win. School Website: Men's Team Website: Men's Head Coach Marty Bradley Women's Team Website:



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