“It’s UCLA’s year” and having Coach Peter Sio on board, does nothing but put an exclamation point on that statement! The Former USA Eagle and Current Coach of Infamous Club 7s squad, Belmont Shore is now in the mix….
“We are delighted that Peter has joined our staff to work with our 7s program. His experience, knowledge and enthusiasm have made a massive difference to our program and overall culture.” said Head Coach Scott Stewart
Sio, whose Rugby roots originate from Samoa, has made his mark here in the States. He started off playing in Hawaii in his college years, but it wasn’t easy.
“I remember going out to a tournament in Hawaii asking if I could sign up somehow, but the teams all told me they were full…” said Sio, who figured the teams didn’t think he was good enough to play.
Shortly after, Sio found a new Rugby “touch” team in the area to play with. After Sio shined in a tournament the team entered into, the same guys who told him he couldn’t play, started asking him to come to their team. “Asking Sio to play” started to become a common thing to do from there…
After dominating in Hawaii, Sio was recruited to play in California where his Belmont Shore team dominated in Rugby Super League for years. Sio was the Top Try Scorer for USA Rugby Super League in 2009.
As Sio’s name continued to generate buzz, he was invited to the USA 7s camp in 2006 and played his first tournament in Hong Kong in 2007.
“Have you seen that video of Waisale Serevi holding the ball above his head? That was the first tournament I played in. Myself and the team were actually in the back of the try zone when it all happened…”
Sio continued to play for USA 7s from 07-09 but in 2010 he broke his arm which forced him to pull out of the squad. However, Sio continued playing with Belmont Shore as they dominated in Club 7s. Belmont Shore finished runner up in 08 at the Club 7s National Championship’s and won it all in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Sio was Captain several years for the squad during their years of dominance and was named USA Rugby Club 7s National MVP and USA Rugby 7s Domestic Player of the Year in 2009. Sio was also named USA Rugby 7s Allstar MVP in 2011.
In 2013, 14 and 15 the team continued to go to Nationals but Sio was getting older so he merged into a player-coach type role. Eventually, Sio stopped playing and coached full time in 2016 and 17. These were the years Sio’s name really started generating a buzz to Coach more.
As Sio continued to impress fans, families and friends, he was encouraged to reach out to UCLA. Sio came on as a volunteer at first, but quickly climbed the ladder. His ability to relate to the players was massive to his success.
“His work in the build up to the CRC last Spring was exceptional and we are grateful that he will be with us for the long haul.” said Head Coach Scott Stewart who has already done a fantastic job with UCLA so far.
Time will tell how much of an impact Sio has on the program and it all starts this Saturday, October 7th at West Coast Sevens in San Luis Obispo, California.