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Keith Fleming

Director of Rugby

Having coached at the University on a part time basis since 2008, Keith became a full time Director of Rugby in 2010. His previous experience has seen him coach players of all ages and abilities, from children’s tag rugby to Aviva Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, where he still acts as Match Day Manager and Honorary Education Officer.

Keith is a UKCC Level 3 qualified coach as well as an RFU coach educator and assessor. Since joining the University, he has led the men’s first team to the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championship semi finals in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has also coached the Rugby sevens side to BUCS Gold in 2009 and Mens 1st XV to BUCS Gold in 2016.

Phone: 01392 726246

Richard Tinkler

Richard Tinkler

Director of Rowing

A former National Champion himself, Richard has been in the rowing game for over forty years, during which he worked with GB Rowing for over a decade. A highly motivated coach who cites his biggest achievement as “my next win”, Richard joined the University of Exeter’s rowing programme as Head Coach in 2011, becoming Director of Rowing in 2013.

Richard works across the Rowing Club’s novice and senior squads, developing them through to National Team Selection if they choose. His training regimes are designed to produce fit and technically precise rowers, focussing on the discipline it takes to manage time and the pressures of the sport.

Phone: 07939486955

Strength and Conditioning Coaches

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Alan Pope

Performance Coach (Strength & Conditioning)

Known to colleagues and clients as “Beef”, Alan has worked for the University for almost 25 years, and became a Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2005. Alan has been working for the University of Exeter for over 20 years, joining the High Performance Unit in 2005. His expert knowledge has led him to sit on the National Advisory Group for Strength and Conditioning and deliver services on behalf of the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). A UKSCA accredited Strength and conditioning coach, Alan has worked with such athletes as Tom Daley (World Diving Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist) and Nick Thompson (GB Sailing Gold Medallist).

"My role involves movement assessments, injury rehabilitation and sports psychology, as well as advising athletes on lifestyle, diet, nutrition and coaching. I get to work with athletes competing in a wide variety of sports - from Hockey to Rugby, Triathlon to Netball and Tennis to Wheelchair Rugby. It is a constantly evolving role which is both challenging and hugely enjoyable. As for the best part of the job, it's great to see a young 18 year old fresher transform into an athletic 21 year old that has succeeded with both their academic degree and their sport at Exeter. I don't know of many similar programmes in the UK that offer such a complete package for such a high number of athletes. This year we are delivering to over 300 athletes across more than a dozen sports that compete in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) competitions. The vision for the programme is to develop our athletes and teams into BUCS contenders, whilst offering student athletes an experience as close to professional sport as possible, and through this further enhance their overall student experience."

Phone: 01392 722387

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Lee Kirk

Performance Coach (Strength & Conditioning)

Lee joined the University of Exeter having previously worked with Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club. He worked with the club's senior players while also running the highly successful Exeter Chiefs Ivybridge Academy. Prior to working within Strength and Conditioning, Lee worked with numerous sports as a personal trainer and fitness consultant for over 8 years. Lee has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Gloucestershire in Strength and Conditioning, where he studied under Dr Rhodri Lloyd. He is also an Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach (ASCC) with the UKSCA, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

"Our primary role as Strength and Conditioning Coaches is to reduce injury prevalence, and improve physical performance. This involves improving numerous qualities from strength and power, to movement quality and efficiency. We also have to make sure our athletes are of the required level of fitness to compete. The high performance programme here at Exeter will rival that of many professional clubs. We may be an educational establishment, but we expect nothing short of excellence. We treat our athletes as professionals and they are expected to act that way. In return they get four coaches with a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as a facility well equipped to achieve everything required of them. The ADC is a fantastic facility and is always progressing, and moving forward. The facilities we have are already of a high standard and they will only get better. As coaches, having this facility allows us to give an extremely high level of service within the High Performance programme."


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Wayne Pattinson

Performance Coach (Strength & Conditioning)

Wayne joined the University of Exeter in 2013, after spending a year at the Strength and Conditioning department at Durham University. He has previously worked with Crystal Palace FC, Hartlepool United FC and Castleford Tigers RLFC, providing Strength and Conditioning support for first team and academy players. As an acreditted Strength & Condition Coach (ASCC) with the UKSCA, Wayne currenlty leads the Strength & Conditioning programme for England U20s Women's Rugby. He is also a certified personal trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist. Wayne is responsioble for devising programmes for a variety of the University’s High Performance Squads and ensuiring all athletes are coached through their programmes.

"As a Strength & Conditioning coach I design and implement programmes for various sports within the high performance programme at the University. These are designed to prevent injury and enable the athletes to become stronger, fitter, faster and more powerful so they can perform to the best of their abilities on game day. The best part of my job is interacting with the athletes and seeing them progress not only as athletes, but also as people.  The high performance programme at the University is one of the best in the country due to its strength in depth and multi-disciplinary approach. Athlete welfare is vital and the Strength & Conditioning team interacts weekly with Ocean Physio and various directors of sports to ensure that it is kept to a high standard. The environment is kept as fun and professional as possible, we have high expectations of the athletes, whilst also ensuring that we improve the students experience around their studies, which are paramount."

Phone: 01392 722387

High Performance Coaches

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Jo Yapp

Head of Women's Rugby

A former England international player and squad captain, gaining 70 caps for her country, Jo works closely with the RFU to ensure that all female players follow the appropriate pathway to play and develop. Alongside her role as Performance Coach at the University, Jo is the current England U20s women's head coach with the RFU and has acted as Talent Transfer 7s coach, England Development 7s squad coach and under 18 Talent ID group coach.

A UKCC level 3 qualified coach, Jo’s role in the Sports Office sees her coach, manage, mentor and develop the women’s rugby programme. Since joining in 2010 she has led the side to the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championship semi final in 2014, final in 2011 and title in 2013.

Phone: 07813205880

Simon Tyson

Simon Tyson

Performance Coach (Men’s Hockey)

Simon is a UKCC and England Hockey Level 2 qualified coach and coaches the Men’s Hockey 1st team. Simon played hockey for the University during his time as an undergraduate student and over four years he reached four BUSA & BUCS Championship and Trophy Finals, winning three Gold’s and one Silver medal. Before joining Exeter, Simon played National League hockey at Firebrands and was selected for junior England representation.

Phone: 01392 722152

Salli Byrne

Performance Coach (Netball)

A former netball player at regional and English Universities level, Salli moved into coaching due to injury. Having worked with talented athletes in the England Netball performance pathway at Satellite, County and Regional academy level across Devon and Gloucestershire, Salli now leads on the University of Exeter Netball 1st team coaching and assists with the Exeter Netball Club Regional 1 squad.

Her previous experience of club coaching includes Lyndean Netball Club, Hucclecote Netball Club and Exeter Netball Club, where she has led teams to a number of club titles across several seasons including taking Exeter Netball Club U16’s to Regional Finals on 2 occasions. Outside of performance coaching, Salli is passionate about all levels of netball and established Exmouth Netball Club in 2014 where she is head coach and chairperson.