Coach Dickson got his start in rugby watching his father, Jim Dickson, play club rugby in upstate New York throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s for the Schenectady Reds, Albany Knickerbockers, and Saranac Lake Mountaineers. Rugby was not available until college, so Dave played soccer then football during high school and immediately sought out the rugby team when he arrived at Yale as a freshmen in the fall of 1997. He played all four years at Yale, winning one New England championship and one Northeast championship while also serving as club President during his junior year and Captain during his senior year. During college, Dave played in the front row (he was a bit heavier then!). After college, Dave played for the New Haven Old Blacks, mostly at hooker, winning a DII Men’s national championship in 2002. In 2003, he moved to Florida and played for the Daytona Beach Coconuts, who were the DIII South Champions in 2005 on their way to placing 3rd in the country. Dave started at hooker for Daytona but eventually moved into the backline, playing inside center during their run to nationals.
In the fall of 2005, Dave moved to Corvallis for graduate school at OSU (where he earned a MS in Materials Science in 2010 and a PhD in Biological & Ecological Engineering in 2011). He started coaching with the OSU men since the local men’s team, the Corvallis Brewers, happened to be on hiatus at that time. After 2 years assistant coaching with the men under head coach Duffin McShane, there was an opportunity to switch to the women’s team to assist Kier Thomas. Dave has been head coach since 2009.
When not coaching, he occasionally plays with the Brewers, referees, and does a lot of trail running with his wife and two dogs. His day job is as an intellectual property and licensing manager in OSU’s Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development, where he helps to protect and commercialize innovations coming primarily out of OSU’s College of Engineering.