Dan Hawke had just started university when his dad Phil came knocking.
He needed a hand coaching the under 15s rugby side at St Edmund's, so Hawke said he'd chip in for a few hours per week. Little did he know that decision would ignite his coaching ambition.
The Canberra Times can reveal Hawke will now coach the ACT Brumbies' Super W side as they set their sights on redemption in a revamped competition.
Hawke was the man behind the ACT Schoolboys' national title in 2017, ending a 29-year drought with a group boasting "more ticker than Phar Lap". Among that side were now Super Rugby-capped duo Lachie Lonergan and Fred Kaihea.
He has since steered the Queanbeyan Whites to ACT colts premierships, coached the Australian under 18 Barbarians and taken on a senior Brumbies academy role over the past two years.
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His university days are long gone. Today Hawke's desire to rise up the coaching ranks burns brightly.
It's why he spends his afternoons cutting up film for his players after a day of teaching at Erindale College.
"The more I do it, the more I love it. I just keep committing more and more to it, and the aspiration is to keep going up the ladder," Hawke said.
"[Former Brumbies coach] Adam Butt got a gig at Wests in the first grade space there so a position opened up. I had mentioned earlier in the year how much I enjoyed going to Wagga with [the Super W team] last year.
"I was only there for a weekend trip when they played a trial game against the Rebels, and I just thought I value-added to the weekend.
"The women were great to work with, and I mentioned after that I would love to work with them again if an opportunity came up. Then the Brumbies said 'the job is open, do you want to apply for it?'"
The Brumbies will name a 27-woman squad on Sunday on the road to a tournament in Coffs Harbour, with details to follow for a six-team competition including a President's XV.
The Brumbies have their sights set on redemption after the Super W season was scrapped altogether on the eve of last year's finals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Some girls have moved on, some girls have been injured, but we've got a really good group of women that has a good mix of both experience and youth coming through," Hawke said.
Mick Burrows will be forwards coach while Lachlan Creighton takes the reins of the attack, with Shellie Milward to take on a development coaching role.
"We're thrilled to see Dan earn this opportunity as our Super W head coach," Brumbies chief executive Phil Thomson said.
"Dan has worked tirelessly with a number of our pathways programs over the last couple of years and this is great reward for not only his commitment but recognition of his ability as a coach as well.
"Obviously, it was unfortunate that the Super W competition isn't in the usual home and away format this year but we're looking forward to the team competing in this year's competition format and hopefully we will be able to resume the normal program next season and beyond."