Ian McGeechan

Last updated

Sir Ian McGeechan
Date of birth (1946-10-30) 30 October 1946 (age 74)
Place of birth Headingley, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
University Carnegie Physical Training College
Occupation(s)Director of rugby, Head coach
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half, Outside centre
Senior career
1964–1979 Headingley ()
Correct as of 19 November 2007
National team(s)
1974 & 1977
British & Irish Lions
Correct as of 19 November 2007
Teams coached
Scotland (assistant)
Northampton Saints
Lions (midweek side)
London Wasps
Bath Rugby
Correct as of 13 April 2019

Sir Ian Robert McGeechan, OBE (born 30 October 1946) is a Scottish former rugby union player and coach. His nickname is "Geech".


Early life

McGeechan was born in Leeds to a Glaswegian father who was in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He attended West Park County Secondary School and Moor Grange County Secondary School and became Head Boy and trained to be a PE teacher at Carnegie Physical Training College (now part of Leeds Metropolitan University). Although his family mostly played football, he took to rugby while in school. [1]

Playing career

McGeechan played for Headingley and made his debut for Scotland in 1972. He won thirty-two caps, playing at fly-half and centre. He captained Scotland on nine occasions. He toured with the British & Irish Lions in both 1974 and 1977.

Coaching career

In 1986, McGeechan became the assistant Scotland coach to Derrick Grant and in 1988 he was promoted to coach. In 1990 his team won a Grand Slam victory in the Five Nations Championship. His forwards coach and partner was Jim Telfer.

McGeechan was the British & Irish Lions head coach in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009. [2] In 2005, he coached the midweek side on the Lions' tour to New Zealand on the invitation of Sir Clive Woodward. [2]

In 1994 McGeechan was appointed as Director of Rugby at Northampton and in 1999 replaced Jim Telfer as Scottish Director of Rugby.

McGeechan was appointed Director of Rugby at London Wasps in 2005 [3] after an unsuccessful and unhappy period as the Scottish Director of Rugby. In his first season of 2005/06 he led Wasps to the Anglo Welsh Cup title, beating Llanelli Scarlets in the final at Twickenham. In his second season, London Wasps claimed the Heineken Cup and in his third season, London Wasps won the Premiership

In February 2010, McGeechan joined the coaching staff at Gloucester as an advisor to Head Coach Bryan Redpath and his coaching team. [4] [5] but moved to local rivals Bath to take up the post of performance director in June 2010. [6]

In 2011 McGeechan took over as the director of rugby at Bath following Steve Meehan's departure. [7]

In July 2012, McGeechan was appointed the executive chairman of Leeds Carnegie. [8]

Coaching statistics

Scotland (1988-1993)

International matches as head coach

Record by country

OpponentPlayedWonDrewLostWin ratio (%)ForAgainst
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 1100100493
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 30030003896
Flag of England.svg  England 611401762100
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 11001003817
Flag of France.svg  France 52030404651
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 660010013584
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1100100479
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 30030004065
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 21010504418
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 1100100286
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 540108010043
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 11001005112

Scotland (2000-2003)

International matches as head coach

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking Scotland was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country

OpponentPlayedWonDrewLostWin ratio (%)ForAgainst
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 10010001625
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 20020002563
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 10010002326
Flag of England.svg  England 410302534125
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 22001005842
Flag of France.svg  France 500500044155
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 510402092162
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 5401080152105
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 11001003211
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 300300040154
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 11001003710
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 1100100318
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 31020336563
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 11001004320
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 330010015744
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 5212040112121

Teaching career

During his playing career, McGeechan was also a PE teacher for over two decades.

McGeechan taught sport and geography at Fir Tree Middle School and Moor Grange County Secondary School in Leeds.


McGeechan was knighted in the 2010 New Years Honours List for his services to rugby. [9] and also received an OBE in 1990

As a player

As head coach


In August 2014, McGeechan was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's independence referendum. [10]

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  1. Connor, Jeff (2011). Giants of Scottish Rugby. Random House. ISBN   9781780572888.
  2. 1 2 "McGeechan given Lions coach role". BBC Sport. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  3. "McGeechan accepts Wasps position". BBC Sport. 15 April 2005. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  4. Geech to advise Gloucester Sky Sports, 11 February 2010
  5. Sir Ian McGeechan to work with Gloucester Rugby Gloucester Rugby, 11 February 2010
  6. "Sir Ian McGeechan joins Bath as performance director". BBC Sport. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  7. https://tv5.espn.com/rugby/story/_/id/15300812/steve-meehan-part-company-bath [ bare URL ]
  8. "Leeds Carnegie appoint Sir Ian McGeechan as chairman" . Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  9. "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 1.
  10. "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.


Preceded by
Derrick Grant
Jim Telfer
Scotland national rugby union team coach
Succeeded by
Jim Telfer
Matt Williams