KUTZTOWN, PA (11/07/2017) The Kutztown University men's and women's rugby clubs have been promoted to Elite Status, effective January 2018.
The Elite Status level was developed by the university administration to enhance the support, both financially and operationally, for clubs that meet specific criteria. In order to receive consideration for Elite Status, clubs:
"Kutztown University is very fortunate and proud to have dedicated staff, coaches, student-athletes and alumni who give our rugby programs the opportunity to compete at the highest-level in the nation," said Dr. Warren Hilton, KU's vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. "Developing an Elite Status for our clubs allow us to recognize these programs for their success, and provide support so they can maintain their success in the years ahead."
The KU men's rugby club, founded in 1984, has a long history of national success at the highest level in both 15s and 7s competition. The Golden Bears are coached by KU Presidential Medal recipient Dr. Gregory "Doc" Jones.
Since taking over the helm in 1985, Jones' teams, between the 15s and 7s have, put together more than 60 winning seasons. The Golden Bears are consistently ranked among the top teams in Division I collegiate programs and have competed for titles at the regional and national level. Most recently, the 15s won the Rugby East Conference Title in 2015, finishing ahead of Penn State, Army, Buffalo, St. Bonaventure, Iona and Wheeling Jesuit.
Since being invited to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship in Chester in 2013, Kutztown has advanced to the final day of competition four out of five times. In 2014 and 2015, the Golden Bears advanced to the championship game live on NBC television against the West Coast rival Golden Bears --- California Berkley.
KU's players, which are recruited from throughout the world, have earned regional and national recognition. The Kutztown University women's rugby team was founded in 1994 and competes at the Division II level for 15s and the 7s regular seasons. The Golden Bears have been participants in the Collegiate Rugby Sevens Championship since 2013, where they compete against the best talent in the nation. Kutztown has advanced to the national Division II tournament in 15s under current head coach Sean Cobb.
"Naming the rugby clubs to Elite Status not only helps both teams, but rewards their many accomplishments and contributions to the university," said Amy Sandt, KU's director of Recreational Services. "The Recreational Services staff looks forward to working with the rugby programs to ensure their ongoing success."