Mount Saint Mary's Women's Rugby Goes Varsity

2015 Mount St. Mary's University women's rugby team

Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson announced that Mount St. Mary's University will elevate the women's rugby program to full varsity status beginning with competition this coming fall. The decision makes the Mount one of only seven NCAA Division I programs in the nation and means the university will compete against some of the nation's most respected academic institutions.

Mount St. Mary's University joins Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, and the United States Military Academy as the only NCAA Division I women's rugby programs in the country.

"After much research and discussion, we have made the decision to elevate our club women's rugby team to NCAA varsity status. The popularity and awareness of the sport is growing at all levels," commented Robinson in a press release. "We have had a very strong club program the past few years and we are confident that we will be able to make a successful transition to varsity status. We already have a great group of young women involved with the club, and we feel that we will be a very competitive NCAA program in a short period of time. We all look forward to a successful season in 2017-18."

The announcement is part of a plan to expand the Mount's intercollegiate athletics program over the next few years as women's rugby becomes the 19th Division I varsity sport at Mount St. Mary's.

Farrah Douglas has been hired to be the head coach for the inaugural varsity team. Douglas brings over 12 years of coaching experience to the Mount, with involvement at the national, collegiate and high school levels. 

"I'm excited for the opportunity to assist in developing women's rugby at Mount St. Mary's and continue to be a part of the growing history and legacy of women's rugby in the United States," said Douglas. "It will take time to create a successful varsity program, but I am thrilled about both the potential and the future. We will build upon many of the current team's foundations and collaborate with the men's staff as we look to not only develop women's rugby at the Mount and as an NCAA leader, but a program that will be at the forefront of collegiate rugby."