Meet the Staff

Welcome to the Team

Just as important as the outstanding sporting facilities, the College offers high level coaching and opportunities to play professional sport, as recognised by Ofsted.

The College also boasts outstanding partnerships and links with employers, national governing bodies and regional sports development, offering students opportunities beyond the playing field.

We have hand-picked specialist staff to work with you as an athlete and develop your ability and performance.

Mike Umaga

Role: Director of Rugby


RFU Level Four Coach, Diploma in Sports Psychology, RFU Coach Educator. Eighteen years coaching experience across all junior age groups, also having coached in national leagues and internationally.


  • Started playing at four-years-old in New Zealand
  • Represented province of Wellington 50 times
  • Moved to UK in 1995. Played both professional rugby union and rugby league
  • Capped internationally by Samoa, representing Samoa in two IRB Rugby World Cups
  • Has a younger brother who wasn’t bad at rugby - Tana Umaga - and cousin Olo Brown.

James Bennett

James Bennett: Football Development Officer. HE Football Head Coach

Role: Football Development Officer. Higher Education Football Head Coach


UEFA B qualified football coach. Former professional footballer for Hull City, Lincoln City and Darlington (2005-2010).


  • Currently playing semi-professional football for Scarborough Athletic in third season
  • Other semi-pro clubs include Bridlington Town
  • In third year of coaching the further education (FE) and higher education (HE) teams at the College. Guided HE to two successive promotions and assisted Director of Sport James Earl with the FE first team, who compete in Category One.

Jo Richardson

Role: Head Netball Coach


UKCC Level Two Netball Coach, HND Sport and Exercise Science/Sports Psychology, Level Four Sports Massage , Level Three Personal Training.


  • Over 20 years years coaching within the field of health and fitness, delivering workshops and masterclasses across the UK
  • Ten years netball coaching experience, working with athletes across both junior and senior ranges.
  • Lead coach on the Bishop Burton College/Yorkshire Jets Extension Centre Programme
  • Kingston Netball Club Head Coach
  • Coached at regional and Northern League level with the highly successful Chevrons Netball Club
  • Head Coach at Synergy Netball, which provides performance -focused netball coaching camps for players of all ages
  • Member of the Humberside County Netball Association  coaching focus group.

James Earl

James Earl: Director of Sport and Sporting Partnerships

Role: Director of Sport and Sporting Partnerships


BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science. Following university, James was on the Graduate Training Scheme at Leeds Metropolitan University working on Sporting Partnerships (Carnegie Challenge Cup, Yorkshire Cricket and Leeds Rugby), Sport and Football Development, Estates Management (Carnegie Pavilion at the Headingley cricket ground) and took a secondment at Yorkshire CCC. The role also supported large scale university events, such as graduations and staff development festivals. He has been at Bishop Burton College since 2010, in the role of Director of Sport since 2012. The Chair of Yorkshire University Sport and on the BUCS Advisory Group, James is also the Chair of the Regional Operations Group for AoC Sport and sits on the Advisory Group to the AoC Sport Board and on the Competitions, Development and Resources Committee of the ECRFU.


  • Former semi-professional footballer who went into coaching whilst at Leeds Carnegie
  • First team coach at Scarborough Athletic and Staveley MW - the latter being two minutes from an FA Vase Wembley final appearance!
  • Coach of the U19 Academy at Bishop Burton College.