Bond University has appointed New Zealand rugby figure Michael Collins as its new Director of Sport.
Mr Collins is currently CEO of Super Rugby club the Chiefs and a former professional rugby player in New Zealand and the UK.
He moved into sports administration following a glittering playing career, including as captain of Waikato, and was CEO of Taranaki Rugby before being appointed CEO of the Chiefs in 2017.
Mr Collins led the high profile club through challenging years as Super Rugby navigated the disruption of the global pandemic.
During his tenure, the Chiefs featured in Super Rugby finals in four of the past five years including this season’s recent semi-finals.
Mr Collins impressed all stakeholders at Bond with his background in high performance, commercial skills, experience in community engagement --particularly around Tikanga Māori -- and passion for improving lives through sport.
His calm and inclusive manner, humility and integrity are all attributes that translate across the pressures of all elite sports.
The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Brailsford, met with Mr Collins as the final part of the recruitment process and said he was a good fit with Bond.
“Michael has a very translatable skill set. He is a natural leader, which is demonstrated by his track-record of senior positions and organisational success, and he has boundless energy and enthusiasm,” Prof. Brailsford said.
“Michael will bring a strategic mindset to sport at the university, and he understands that a critical part of the role is to utilise sport as a driver for greater and deeper engagement, both inside the campus and with the external community.”
Collins is moving to the Gold Coast from his base in New Zealand with his family for both career and lifestyle opportunities.
“I am really excited by the opportunities,” Mr Collins said.
“Bond can play a really important role in sport, and sport can play a really important role for the university. Moreover, Queensland is certainly the place to be for the next decade in relation to global sport.”
It will be a big change for Collins after spending more than half of his life involved with rugby. He recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of New Plymouth Boys’ High School’s First XV win in the schools world championship.
“While It has been a highlight and a privilege to represent and work for my home province of Taranaki, I feel it is time to move on,” Mr Collins said.
“I will forever remain grateful to New Zealand Rugby for the numerous opportunities they have provided for me, but my family and I are really excited about the lifestyle change.”
Mr Collins is already familiar with the Gold Coast as one of his children is in his third year of studies at Bond University. He is also a keen surfer and a volunteer surf lifesaver.
“The opportunity that has presented itself at Bond feels very much like fate has intervened,” he said.
“I don’t intend to waste time as the combination of positive forces like this only come around once in a lifetime.”
The appointment of Mr Collins follows an international search conducted by SRI Executive. He will commence the role in August.