Mcalister led Marines to silver at inaugural Armed Forces Championship

Staff Sgt. Alan Mcalister talks to the All-Marine women’s rugby team during the team’s training camp at the rugby field on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, June 28. 

Coach's Corner is a new segment in the sports section that highlights the lives of coaches in the Onslow County area who have connections to the military.

Sport: Rugby

Team: All-Marine Women's

Quick facts:

• Raid instructor with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Expeditionary Operations Training Group at Stone Bay

• Purple Heart with Gold Star recipient

• Navy Commendation Medal with Valor recipient

• First-ever All-Marine women’s rugby team coach

• President of Camp Lejeune Misfits rugby team

• From Fayetteville, Tennessee

Q: What are some of the things you try to teach your players?

A: I try to teach my players, one, how to play the game safe, and two, what this game can do for them. It gives them purpose, a means to travel and a whole community of people who love you for being a part of it.

Q: Who was one of your favorite mentors or coaches growing up and why?

A: My Babe Ruth League coach. Coach Boggs taught me the game, but he also focused on building me into a man as well. He was a man who knew I was being raised by a very busy grandmother. He would take me hunting, fishing or just have me over for a big family dinner. He was more of a life coach than a baseball coach, not to say he was not great at both. I see him to this day after 20 years when I go home.

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes?

A: “All it takes is all you got.” - Unknown

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t busy coaching, playing rugby or being a Marine?

A: When not emerged in rugby, I am playing dance dad to my 10-year-old daughter. She does dance and competitive gymnastics, so she is as busy as I am for the most part.

Q: What do you love most about rugby?

A: I love the community and the buy-in to a family. The game does not end on the field for rugby players. You can count on most of your teammates for help or as someone to just go have a beer with. Some of my most fond stories are ones of being with my rugby team on the road somewhere.

The other part of that is the opposing teams. With the exception of when you are on the same field, they are family as well. Often, we are sleeping three to a bed at an opponent’s house the night before and after a game, because that’s what it takes to make a game happen, so it’s the community. I will always and forever be a part of it as a player or in some other capacity.

NOTABLE: Mcalister coached the All-Marine women’s rugby team to a second-place finish at the inaugural Armed Forces Championship for women’s rugby earlier this month in Wilmington. The Marines went 3-1 versus the other branches of service.

If you’d like to nominate someone for Coach’s Corner, email Calvin Shomaker at