Senior Profile: Adam Pidedjian named Rugby All-American, reflects on season 

Senior Adam Pidedjian is pictured on April 28. Elin Shih / The Tufts Daily

Playing rugby takes guts. It takes getting up after big hits, playing through painful injuries and making the right decision in high-pressure situations. Senior Adam Pidedjian came into Tufts with barely any rugby experience. He played soccer in high school but joined the rugby team as a first-year at Tufts and quickly fell in love with the sport.

Many students may not be aware that Tufts rugby competes in Division I, against schools like Boston College, Rutgers and Binghamton University. After dominating the NESCAC, they were promoted to the highest level of college competition where they have proven themselves worthy by beating schools like UMass Amherst and Nazareth College.

“It’s definitely difficult, being a smaller school just in terms of numbers, competing with them, but it really focuses us to try to push our program to be more serious so that we can try to compete with these teams,” Pidedjian said.

This year, Tufts randomly got matched up with Nazareth college for the Liberty Rugby Conference Challenge Series Bowl game. Ranked in the top 30 schools in the country at that point, Nazareth was the favorite to defeat an injury-stricken Tufts side with a 1–5 record. Tufts emerged victorious, beating Nazareth 29–22 with a try late in the second half. Pidedjian spoke about what this win meant for the program and for his senior season. 

“Winning that game and pulling off the upset was pretty unbelievable.” Pidedjian said. “For myself and other seniors, it was our last game of our careers. So going out on a high was pretty sweet as well.”

After four years of taking a beating on the field, the rugby player from Manhasset, New York has had his fair share of injuries.

“I had a few hits this year where I don’t think I really thought about quitting but definitely thought about [how] maybe this isn’t the most sustainable lifestyle sport,” Pidedjian said.

Nevertheless, his toughness is one of the qualities that defines him as a player. Pidedjian ended his career on a high note, receiving All-American honors as a flyhalf, one of the highest honors you can receive in Division I rugby. The senior talked about his reaction to the news.

“Rob Lester, one of my teammates in our captain messaged me, then our coaches as well, and honestly, I was surprised. It wasn’t something that I had really anticipated or expected at all. But … it was a nice way to go out in that last season.”

As his time at Tufts comes to an end and he moves onto a career as an investment banker with Barclays, Pidedjian reflects on his time at Tufts and what being recognized on a national level has meant to him.

“I’d say just being someone who, four years ago, had no idea how to play the sport … getting that recognition allowed me to take a step back and see I’ve come a long way from that journey,” Pidedjian said. 

Pidedjian also endorses the Tufts rugby program wholeheartedly and speaks highly of the culture and the welcoming environment that the team has established.

“If you were involved in sports in high school, and you want to keep that going at Tufts in an atmosphere that’s both competitive but also everyone’s really laid back and down to earth, … give it a shot, because it was one of the best parts of my Tufts experience,” Pidedjian said.