Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has made the grade after gaining a postgraduate diploma in sports coaching.
Agar swapped his sportswear for academic robes when he graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) alongside 4,500 students at Preston’s Guild Hall last week.
The ’Cats head coach, who also coaches the French national side, has spent the last two years juggling his coaching role with studying for the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 4 Postgraduate Diploma in Elite Coaching Practice.
He took the diploma alongside Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts and the pair are among a handful of rugby league coaches who have achieved the academic qualification.
In December 2011 John Kear, Steve McCormack, Stuart Wilkinson, Andy Proctor, Dave Elliott and Dave Rotheram were among the first cohort to graduate from this specialist course.
Agar was delighted to graduate from the School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors and believes the diploma will only help him, and Betts, to improve as a rugby league coach.
He said: “It’s been a tough two years as our coaching jobs are really time consuming but I’m delighted I’ve completed it as the greater and more in-depth knowledge I’ve gained in areas such as physiology and strength and conditioning will help improve me as a coach.”
Betts added: “This postgraduate course has been really worthwhile for enhancing our coaching careers and it gives us a credible academic achievement to use in the wider world. It’s been great to work alongside coaches from table tennis, squash and hockey as we can learn different skills from these sports.”
Brian Jones, UCLan Principle Lecturer in Coaching and Performance, said: “I’m really proud of both Richard and Denis. Richard’s worked hard with it while having two coaching jobs and Denis has been a great student. It’s great to hear them talking about going on to look at further study as they’ve been really good individuals who have learnt so much.”