Valenese Malifa, Assistant Coach
Malifa grew up in Samoa where he excelled in soccer and tennis, going on to represent his home country. His family moved to Auckland, New Zealand when he was 12 years old and was introduced to the game of rugby. Quickly becoming his sport of choice, Malifa represented Auckland and Samoa by age 17. Developing at the Auckland Rugby Academy from 2003-6, he took his skills stateside to Belmont Shore Rugby Club. Malifa made his test debut for the USA Men’s Eagles against England A May 2007 and played in the 2007 and 2011 IRB Rugby World Cups. Malifa has played alongside former Seawolves Setareki Tuilevuka, Roland, and Shalom Suniula, as well as general manager Pate Tuilevuka, while earning his 23 caps for the US fifteens program. The fly-half also had 18 tournament appearances on the World Rugby Sevens circuit, where he led the Men’s Eagles Sevens in scoring during the 2009-10 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series with 120 points. Beginning his transition to coaching in 2012 after a few seasons with the Glendale Raptors, Malifa was the head coach for the USA Falcons 7s team from 2012-13. He joined the Tiger Rugby Academy’s coaching staff in 2014 and continued to sharpen his positional coaching skills. He became the head coach of the Life West women’s fifteens program in 2017 and helped lead them to a USA Club DI Championship. With the arrival of Major League Rugby, Malifa joined Rugby ATL from 2018-20 as their assistant coach, as well as their developmental team’s, Pathway 404, head coach, as the southern club prepared to enter the League. Originally set to join the Dallas Jackals alongside Seattle’s director of rugby and head coach, Allen Clarke, for the 2021 season, Malifa has pivoted to the Seawolves and is eager to contribute to the Club for years to come.