He graduated from West London Institute in 1990, and spent 12 years working in education. The ex-London Broncos rugby league player turned professional in 2002, before progressing into a successful coaching career including two World Cups, a Challenge Cup win and a Super League leaders trophy with Leeds.
After leaving his role as Head Coach of Workington Town in 2009, Dave found himself lacking in confidence and suffering low self-esteem due to a fear of failing again. He was soon back on track after securing a role with the Rugby Football League (RFL) and embarking on a UKCC Level 4 in Rugby League and a PGDip at UCLan.
Dave says it was a fantastic opportunity to rebuild his self-belief: "It was a great change for me to be in a new environment. Coaching can be a lonely place so it was great to retrain around like-minded people. In addition to people from a rugby background, there were coaches from Basketball, Squash, Hockey and Table Tennis and it was wonderful to be able to share ideas and experiences."
With his passion for coaching reignited, Dave took on the role of Scotland Assistant Coach in the build up to RLWC2013. The Scots tournament budget was small in comparison with some of the bigger nations, yet Dave and Head Coach Steve McCormack laid down a blueprint for success.
"In reality we were never going to win the competition, but reaching the quarter-final at Headingley was an achievable target. We developed communication and trust with the players and asked them to buy into the culture of what we wanted to do.
"We kept it simple, focusing on team bonding and how the team would function at the tournament. They were asked to respect the nation's history and tradition, with honesty, competitiveness and fearlessness becoming our trademarks."
After beating Tonga and drawing with Italy, The Scots sealed their dream quarter-final versus New Zealand with victory against the USA.
Dave has now secured funding to establish a knowledge transfer partnership between UCLan and the RFL. Working with Professor Dave Collins and his team at the Institute of Coaching and Performance, Dave is looking to improve players, resulting in better games thus enhancing the overall product.
A number of scholarships will be made available to players, while there will be numerous learning and work experience opportunities for UCLan students across a variety of courses as a result of the collaboration.
"What you learn at university is highly applicable to the world of work," said Dave. "Hopefully my experiences show what you can achieve if you set your mind to it."