Our Coaches

The PAC Youth program has a number of dedicated individuals and parents on the current coaching staff.  In addition, PAC regularly trains and develops high school and collegiate players as assistant coaches and referees.   We are always interested in additional volunteer coaches and happily train and educate new coaches.

All coaches are required to register with USARugby and submit to the USARugby youth coach background check.  The USARugby registration and coaching certification can be found at: www.usarugby.org/coaching


Thomas Lyons

Coach Lyons is a long-time rugby enthusiast.  Tom began playing rugby at the Catholic University of America (Washington DC) after he stopped playing football for CUA. He continued his rugby career as a long time player for the Potomac Athletic Club (PAC).  He was a member of the 1995 National Championship team, represented PAC in the USA Rugby Super League and dozens of national playoff games, including multiple appearances in the national championships for both sevens and fifteens. Tom also played for various all-star and invitational teams, including captaining the Potomac Rugby Union against the New Zealand Ambassador’s XV in the prestigious Ambassador’s Shield match.

He is currently the head coach for St. John’s College High School and an associate head coach for the men’s rugby team at the Catholic University of America.  Prior to St. John’s, he was an assistant coach with the Georgetown Prep Rugby team where he helped build one of the top ranked school teams in the U.S. and was one of the founding coaches of the Gonzaga High School rugby program.  Tom has been an assistant coach with the Maryland State High School All Star teams as well as various invitational  teams.  He was also an assistant coach for Potomac Athletic Club (PAC) Men’s team and was player/coach for the PAC Men’s sevens program for a number of years, including 1998 when PAC finished 8th in the nation.

Coach Lyons holds a USARugby Level 300/World Rugby Level 2 coaching certification, is a certified Rookie Rugby Instructor (USARugby) and a certified Double Goal Coach with the Positive Coaching Alliance.  He has engaged in ongoing coach education and is an Accredited Interscholastic Coach (NFHS) as well as a USA Football Head Up Coach.  He has also completed the World Rugby Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Certification.

Coach Lyons holds the highest referee certification available from World Rugby and is also a certified Coach of Match Officials (Levels 1 & 2).  An active referee for over 15 years, he is a member of the Potomac Rugby Referee Society and has refereed across the USA and overseas.  From 2007 until 2015 Tom was a member of the USA Rugby National Referee Panel, and refereed in USA Rugby National Championship events, the Rugby Super League, Collegiate Sevens Invitational Championship as well as locally and across the region.  Tom was also privileged to officiate international events such as the USA Sevens (a World Rugby Sevens Series event), the Churchill Cup and World Cup Qualifying matches.  Coach Lyons is also a certified World Rugby Educator for both coaches and referees.

Tom currently overseas technology for an organization based in Washington DC.  Tom is married and has three children and lives in Montgomery County, Maryland.


Tom McHale

Coach McHale began playing rugby at Georgetown University where he played for 4 years and also played collegiate representative rugby for both the Potomac Rugby Union and the Eastern Rugby Union territorial all star teams.  Tom continued his rugby career for many years as a member of the Potomac Athletic Club.  In addition to numerous Super League and national playoff matches for PAC, Tom has played for various senior representative teams.  Coach McHale is currently the head coach for the Georgetown Prep Rugby team.  He is a USARugby Level 200/World Rugby Level 1 certified coach and has completed Double-Goal Coach certification with the Positive Coaching Alliance.

Tom is currently the Senior Vice President of Finance for American Capital, a private equity firm based in Bethesda.  He is married with 3 children and resides in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Josh Brady
Coach Brady began playing rugby as one of the founding members of Gonzaga High School’s rugby team in 1988, where he played under the guidance of Coach Lyons. Josh continued his rugby career at Georgetown University where he played for 4 years with fellow coach Tom McHale.  Josh began coaching with PAC Youth Rugby in 2009, when his two sons started  playing with PAC.  Josh is a USARugby Level 200/WorldRugby Level I coach and has completed Double-Goal Coach training with the Positive Coaching Alliance.  Josh is currently a coach with Gonzaga High School rugby program.  Coach Brady is also certified as WorldRugby Level I referee and active match official with the Potomac Rugby Referees.

Josh resides in Montgomery County,  is a tax attorney in Washington, DC and is married with two children.

Graeme Thomson
Coach ThomsonCoach Thomson started his rugby career in Scotland, learning the game at Fettes College in Edinburgh.  After high school, Graeme began his senior career in Scottish 1st Division rugby before immigrating to the USA in the early 90s.  After arriving in Washington, D.C. Coach Thomson picked up with PAC, where he played along side coaches Lyons and McHale and was a member of the ’95 National Championship squad.  Graeme had a distinguished playing career in Scotland and the USA, being selected to Scottish Schools, Potomac and Eastern Rugby Union All-Stars and being selected as a reserve for the USA in 1995.

Graeme is a USARugby Level 200/WorldRugby Level I certified coach through USARugby and has completed Double-Goal Coach training thru the Positive Coaching Alliance.  He firmly believes that strong rugby ethos will be an asset to any individual as they journey through life.

Graeme also coaches Girls soccer, is married with 2 children and lives in Bethesda, MD.

Fred Cappa
Fred Cappa grew up in the South of France playing rugby as a child while attending pro games in Pau, Bayonne and Biarritz.  He later played in high school and while at University in Aix en Provence.  He first became involved with PAC as a parent and eventually joined the coaching team.  Coach Cappa has completed his USARugby Level I coaching certification.  Fred works as a Technical Trainer and lives in Silver Spring, is married with 2 children.

Gregor Wallace
Gregor grew up in Kelso, a town in the Scottish Borders which is the heartland of rugby in the nation. Coach Wallace played rugby throughout his school years and turned out for Madras College FP RFC while attending the University of St. Andrews.  Gregor remains a passionate follower of rugby and believes the sport is a great avenue for kids to develop their athleticism and learn about teamwork, community and respect.  Gregor holds a USARugby Level 100 coaching certificate and lives in Takoma Park with his wife and 2 children.

Linda Simpson
Linda Simpson grew up in England watching rugby, but did not begin playing herself until her freshman year at Swarthmore College (PA).  Linda played predominantly at scrumhalf and captained and co-coached her team during her senior year.   Linda has been coaching with the PAC youth program since 2005 and has also coached youth soccer for a number of years.  Linda has completed the WorldRugby Level 1 Refereeing certification and Double-Goal Coach training thru the Positive Coaching Alliance.

Linda is in nurse and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, fellow coach Mike Simpson, and three boys, all of whom played for PAC youth.