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Appleton Area Rugby - Dragons

Staff Biographies

Founder, Faculty Adviser, Youth Development Director

Brian Gleason

On the pitch, I have played all 8 positions in the pack at some point, but I normally play in the second row. I am still playing with the Fox Cities Gargoyles when my schedule permits.

I am a Appleton West graduate and was a stand-out in football and FVA conference champion wrestler. After high school I played football for Valparaiso University’s I-AA program, before transferring to UW-Whitewater. I first started playing rugby while attending UW-Whitewater, but I packed away my boots for 6 years after a collarbone separation.  I started playing rugby again around 2005 with the Fox Cities Gargoyles and served as the Gargoyles club president during their run to the Mid-West Territory final four in 2008.

I currently serve as  a board member and head coach of the Appleton Wrestling Club, Terror Youth Wrestling team. I have also served the Appleton School Disrict as the Head Football Coach and defensive coordinator of the Wilson Middle School - Raider football team and wrestling team. 

In the summer I enjoy teaching a summer school rugby class at Roosevelt Middle School and coaching the Dragon Flag Rugby Program. When I am not coaching, I am a full-time teacher at my alma mater Appleton West H.S.       

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Founder and Girls Coach

A.J. Wieseler

My love of rugby started when I was a high school junior in the fall of 1999 where I played the position of the hooker with the Jesters, a high school club in Appleton.  At that time high school teams were allowed to play co-ed contact rugby.  Although I was the only female on the team it was always great to see the other Wisconsin teams we played against that had one or two female players.  I was inspired by the four great coaches I had as a Jester to become a rugby coach myself one day.

As a college freshman in 2001 I began playing with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Women’s Rugby Football Club.  I continued to play throughout college and also was voted the Fundraising Coordinator for the team my junior and senior years.  Every summer during college I came home to the Fox Valley area and would practice with the Gargoyles team and play in various summer tournaments.  I received my Bachelors of Science in Political Science with an Emphasis in Criminal Justice from UWSP in May of 2005.

As coach of the girls’ team I am looking forward to teaching more eager minds the great sport of rugby, and especially excited about the opportunities there are for kids from first through eighth grade to play.  I believe once in the game, they will fall in love with it just as I did.

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Founder
Tristan Retzlaff

 Retzlaf Family

My passion and love of the game of Rugby started in 1995 when I first started playing Rugby here in Appleton. In 2002 I joined Dale Klitzke in founding the Fond Du Lac Men’s Rugby club known as the Wolfpac, which went on to win the WI State Title qualified for the Midwest Playoffs many times.

For a long time I have wanted to further rugby in WI by doing more for the youth of the Fox Valley area, and to do that I decided to start a Youth Foundation here in Appleton, WI. I contacted Brian Gleason as my second founder and Vice President of Dragon Rugby, and thankfully he wholeheartedly decided to join me, he shares the same vision and purpose as I do to help create a program that has a high standard off and on the pitch. 

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