Neil "Pops" McCarthy is yet another KU graduate that will be continuing the tradition of walking through the Campanile and down the hill for graduation tomorrow. Neil has been both the field and match secretary for the executive board, been to New Zealand and Scotland/Wales on tour with the club, is a Red Jacket Society Member, and was this years Kernow Cup winner. Neil was the consummate rugby player on and off of the field and as a teammate. You could always count on him for anything. A hard nosed player in the front row or in the loose that used his body with reckless abandon to secure the ball or bring down an opponent with absolutely no regard for himself. He would always get up and continue on, often with a wry smile on his face as described by one of his coaches. You could tell that he really enjoyed playing rugby. Another coach when asked about Pops had this to say,"It was late in the day of a tournament and everyone was pretty beat up and tired. A bunch of guys were telling me that they didn't want to start unless they had to. I could see that Pops was beat up and tired also. I asked him what about you Pops? How are you feeling? Neil forced himself to smile and told me that he was as good as gold. He's perhaps the toughest guy on the team and has one of the best attitudes. He always is concerning himself with other peoples needs and he always does what needs to be done. I don't think I've heard him complain one time." Another coach had this to say, "Well he is definitely a clubman. I have always appreciated how polite and helpful he is. He just did everything that was asked of him and then some more. I also love how knowledgeable he is about global politics. I have never met somebody as informed as him. I think he may be president someday."
We asked Neil some questions and here are his responses.
What are your plans after graduation?
"I have a job at Ultimus Fund Solutions in Omaha as a fund accountant."
What did you like about the rugby club?
"I thought this club is a great bunch of guys that really care about each other on and off of the field."
What was your fondest memory with KJRFC?
"My favorite memory with this club has been both tours I have gone on. The tour to Scotland/Wales was particularly fun."
What would you tell incoming players about our rugby club?
"If you fully commit to this club you will get everything back and more. It's the best bunch of guys you'll ever have the privilege to know."
Do you plan on continuing rugby after KU?
"Yes, possibly with the Omaha G.O.A.T.S"
Pops, we know you will be a great asset at your new job and for your new rugby club and wish you the best. Rock Chalk!
Westwick Rugby Complex, E 1094 Road, Lawrence, KS, United States 66047 --- Mail to: The Kansas Rugby Foundation Inc. P.O. Box 1182 Lawrence, KS 66044