Boss brain Rassie can now also boast of an honorary doctorate


On the field, he is regarded as a masterful rugby strategist and Rassie Erasmus, head coach of the Springboks, now also receives an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the game.

The North-West University (NWU) announced on Friday that it will award an honorary doctorate to Erasmus, also the Springboks’ former director of rugby, for his contribution to helping the men in green and gold win the World Cup rugby tournament.

The NWU council already approved the decision in November after the request for the award of the degree Philosophiae Doctor (Honoris Causa) in Coaching was submitted by the NWU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The university says the honorary doctorate is being awarded to Erasmus in recognition of his innovative and extraordinary management of the Springboks during their World Cup victories in 2019 and 2023, his special position in the international rugby coaching arena, his strong drive and focus on diversity and inclusiveness, and its commitment to social responsibility.

“In addition to his visionary leadership, he also has an unwavering commitment to the Sport Transformation Charter – which is included in the strategic plan of the Department of Sport and Recreation – which has brought about a systematic change in the development of talent and skills across the national rugby spectrum,” says the university.

Erasmus has shown that he is a “nation builder of whom the country can be proud”.

“Rassie personifies the principles of resilience, determination and teamwork that are of great value to us at North-West University in our educational mission. His contribution to South Africa – as a rugby strategist and also a nation builder – serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when passion, commitment and visionary leadership are combined,” says Bert Sorgdrager, board chairman.

“This prestigious recognition is not only well-deserved, but also a testimony to the remarkable contributions and extraordinary impact that Rassie has made in the field of sport and innovative sports management.”

Sorgdrager says Erasmus’ commitment to inclusivity and transformation in sport not only gave rugby new life, but served as a powerful symbol of reconciliation and unity in a nation with a complex history.

“Under his leadership, the Springboks not only achieved rugby fame, but became a unifying force that brings together people of all backgrounds and beliefs. His emphasis on teamwork, discipline and commitment extends far beyond the sports arena, offering life lessons that not only inspire aspiring athletes, but also ordinary people in their daily lives.

“He uses his sphere of influence sensibly to advocate social change, to encourage an environment where diversity and inclusiveness are celebrated, and to see differences as strengths rather than weaknesses,” says Sorgdrager.

Erasmus accepted the honor “with great appreciation” on Thursday. The ceremony will be held on the Potchefstroom campus of the NWU within the next few months.