By Mark Stevens
Rob Baxter is to be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Exeter after he guided the Exeter Chiefs to Aviva Premiership glory at Twickenham in May.
The 46-year-old has been the guiding light for the Devon club in recent years, overseeing their promotion out of the RFU Championship into the Premiership, before steering them to LV= Cup glory in 2014 and then English rugby’s top prize this year.
Having spent 14 years as an Exeter player, ten of them as club captain, this is the latest accolade to be bestowed on Baxter, who this week agreed a new three-year deal with the champions, taking on the new role of Director of Rugby at Sandy Park.
Baxter, who said he was “delighted” and “honoured” to receive the degree, will join other illustrious figures who have made a contribution to science, journalism, the Army, education and charity work being honoured during degree ceremonies next week.
“I have a long history with the city of Exeter and the University and both have played a huge part in my career as both a rugby player and now a professional coach,” he said.
“When working as the head coach at the University the most enjoyable aspect was the purity of the commitment and attitude of the players. They all took part in training and playing for the right reasons, to challenge themselves, to be part of something bigger than the individual and to build friendships and memories. This has always been an influence on me in my coaching career.
“I now have been allowed the opportunity to share a day which marks the recognition and celebration of hard work and achievement for many graduates and their families and I feel very fortunate to be able to congratulate them and share a few thoughts with them on what their futures may hold.”