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Marywood Adds Men's & Women's Rugby as Varsity Sports

08/15/2018, 12:00pm EDT
By John Gudlen

Marywood University Add Men's and Women's Rugby

Scranton, PA – Marywood University Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Mary Jo Gunning has announced the addition of men's and women's rugby as competitive varsity club programs starting the 2018-19 academic year.  The addition of the two programs brings the total of varsity sports offered at Marywood to 22.

A nationwide search to hire a full-time rugby coach will commence immediately with hopes of hiring the coach by mid-2017 for a full year to recruit prospective student-athletes to the teams. The coach will also enhance the Sports Information office by serving as a Assistant Sports Information Director. 

"The addition of these programs will continue to bolster our recruitment efforts of students from Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the region" said Dr. Gunning. "Adding men's and women's rugby provides student-athletes from a wide geographic area the opportunity to compete in a growing sport that might not otherwise be available to them." 

"The addition of rugby teams to our athletic program is another way of supporting our students who want to supplement a quality education with opportunities to develop themselves in body, mind, and spirit" said Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., President of Marywood University. "Developing the potential of the whole person is the hallmark of a Marywood education and we see this as further expression of our mission."

While men's and women's rugby are not NCAA sponsored sports, women's rugby is a current Olympic sport and the NCAA has identified women's rugby as an "emerging" varsity sport. In addition, both men's and women's rugby are growing in popularity and both teams will participate in a very competitive club league.

Both programs will begin competitive play in 2018-19 as members of both USA Rugby (the national governing body) and the Small College Division of the Mid Atlantic Rugby Conference (MARC).

"We are excited to offer rugby as Marywood has a tradition of continually providing students new opportunities to grow that enrich their college experience" said Amy Paciej-Woodruff, Assistant Vice President for Student Life.

Marywood will have the opportunity to compete against a wide range of institutions that currently sponsor rugby and will be one of the very few institutions in the country that will employ a full-time coach.

Applications for the Head Rugby Coach/Assistant Sports Information position will only be accepted online through the Marywood Human Resources website.

Student-athletes interested in participating in Rugby in college may fill out the Men's Rugby prospective athlete form or Women's Rugby prospective athlete form and all information will be forwarded to admissions and the new Head Coach when the position is

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