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LIndenwood-Belleville Embraces Rugby, Hires Coach

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LIndenwood-Belleville Embraces Rugby, Hires Coach

Pat Clifton. Numina Photo.
Lindenwood University-Belleville in Illinois today confirmed that it is starting a varsity men's rugby program, and that Pat Clifton, a regular member of the RuggaMarix America podcast team, and who was a writer and assistant editor for Rugby Magazine and rugbymag.com, will be their coach.
 
Clifton, who has been a youth coach in the Kansas City area and has experience as a club player, administrator, and league official, worked with Goff Rugby Report Editor Alex Goff before Goff left rugbymag.com in June, 2014. He has remained with the United World Sports-owned company (since renamed Rugby Today), and is expected to continue some journalism work. Meanwhile, he has a massive job ahead with the Lindenwood-Belleville team, as it has no rugby team at all, and Clifton will have to put together his roster out of whole cloth and be ready to play in the fall of 2015.
 
Lindenwood-Belleville is located in Belleville, Ill. It is a companion school to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., which started varsity rugby in the fall semester of 2011-12. Lindenwood St. Charles ended that season as DII champions, moved up to DIAA, where the Lions finished 2nd in the nation, and then moved up to DIA, where they remain. Belleville is expected to start at the lower divisions, too, however, Clifton is likely to recruit heavily from US-based players rather than overseas-based players; the latter recruiting tactic was how Lindenwood St. Charles won so often early on.
 
Goff Rugby Report offers our congratulations to a talented journalism colleague as he takes on this new challenge.