CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A college rugby coach in Charlotte who broke barriers on and off the field is making his small screen debut in a new documentary.

What You Need To Know

  • Frank McKinney, the men’s rugby coach at Queen’s University, is the subject of a new documentary about breaking barriers on and off the field

  • McKinney was the first Black rugby coach to win a collegiate national championship

  • McKinney said the documentary, “Scrum,” is now being optioned as a feature-length film and will hopefully debut before the Rugby World Cup in 2023

Frank McKinney, the men’s rugby coach at Queens University, has been playing rugby since college. He helped launch the men’s team at Queens in 2017.

McKinney then led the team to a national championship in 2019.

“I remember when I had no players. I remember when I was sitting in a cubicle. I remember when I tried to recruit my first player,” McKinney said. “I went from that to holding a trophy up.”

McKinney was the first Black rugby coach in the country to win a national college championship. His journey to history is now featured in the new documentary “Scrum.”

“I never dreamt of being in a movie. I mean, I coach,” he said.

McKinney said he didn’t know rugby was a sport until he found the team at Belmont Abbey College. He quickly realized when he was on the field, he was in the minority.

“I saw a very few amount of people that were African American, very few Latinos, very few Asians,” McKinney said.

When he was brought on to create and coach the men’s rugby team at Queens, McKinney said he had a mission.

“Most of the people I saw didn’t look like me. So my goal and my dream was to put together a diverse team,” McKinney said.

The film’s creator and director is McKinney’s longtime friend, who started filming the team’s practices for recruiting purposes. McKinney said during the season, the film crew decided the story needed a bigger platform.

“[He said] 'there’s not many African American coaches in rugby, you’re the only African American head coach at Queens, you have a diverse team,'” McKinney said. “He said all those things make this a compelling story.”

“Scrum” debuted in California and at the Charlotte Film Festival in October and is now available online. McKinney hopes his story inspires other players and that coaches continue to break barriers on and off the field.

McKinney said the documentary is now being optioned as a feature length film with the hope of opening before the Rugby World Cup in 2023.