Josef ‘Joe’ Schmidt, the coach who led the Ireland rugby team to an historic first victory against the New Zealand All Blacks in 111 years, has been awarded an honorary degree by Ulster University for his distinguished services to sport.
Ireland produced a stunning display in the Autumn Internationals in November to claim an elusive win over world champions New Zealand at the 29th attempt, ending the All Blacks’ run of 18 straight victories after a 40-29 success.
With a renowned reputation as a leading university for sport throughout Ireland, Ulster University conferred the Doctor of Science (DSc) on Schmidt during the Winter graduations held at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry.
The New Zealand-born rugby union coach and former teacher coached the New Zealand schoolboys during his teaching days before becoming full-time assistant coach at Bay of Plenty, Auckland Blues, Clermont Auvergne, and then head coach of Leinster.
On the back of unprecedented success at Leinster, winning four trophies in three years, Schmidt was appointed Ireland head coach in 2013.