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Lonestar Women's Conference Joining NCR

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Lonestar Women's Conference Joining NCR

The University of Texas women performed well at the CRC, and their conference now joins NCR.

The Lonestar Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference becomes the latest conference to join National Collegiate Rugby.

The Lonestar Conference spans Texas and Oklahoma, and includes the following teams:

Angelo State University
Baylor University
Letourneau University
Oklahoma University
Sam Houston State University
Southern Nazarene University
Texas Tech University
Texas A&M University
Texas State University
University of Houston
University of North Texas
University of Texas - Austin
University of Texas - San Antonio

Chris Botto, Head Coach for Letourneau University, will serve as the Commissioner for the Lonestar Women’s Conference.

“We are excited to join NCR for the robust rugby opportunities the organization provides for college women along with NCR’s undeniable emphasis on community, family, and growth," said Botto. "It is an exciting time to be part of women’s rugby in our region, and NCR is at the forefront of waking the sleeping giant through promotion at the college ranks.”

The Lonestar Conference is the second major conference to move to NCR this year, following the Big Ten. With these additional conferences, NCR will introduce both a Division I and Division II postseason pathway for all members. NCR reports that they now serve over 200 women's collegiate clubs.

Texas Small Colleges previously competed in NSCRO 7s National Championships and All Star 7s competitions in Florida; Botto coached that all-star team. In 2022, the Lonestar Conference competed in the expanded Division I All Star Tournament and won the title in front of a home crowd in Houston led by University of Texas Coach Kris Karsten. Karsten then led UT to third place in the Division I Club championships at the 2022 CRC. 

"I can’t wait to work with Chris Botto, and the rest of the Lonestar teams to put their programs on the platform they deserve," Angela Smarto, NCR Women’s Director, said. "The teams have proven they belong on a national stage, and I am excited to see how they fit into our expanded competition." 

How the DI and DII postseason will pan out remains to be seen. In the past NCR has opted for different approaches, sometimes assigning entire conferences to one division or another, and sometimes opting to funnel teams into a higher or lower divisional playoff once the regular season is over.