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Mount Saint Mary's Rugby Gets Elevated Status

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Mount Saint Mary's Rugby Gets Elevated Status

Colleen McCloskey photo.

Big news out of Emmitsburg, Md. as Mount Saint Mary’s has elevated the men’s rugby program to the status of Premier Team Sport.

The new status is an elevated non-varsity status for the team. It isn’t varsity, but does come with a string of benefits, not least of which is that head coach Jay Myles will be paid full-time, and the team itself will be funded and supported by the university.

“The university is proud of the rugby program’s strong and passionate alumni base, burgeoning national reputation and high-level leadership by coaches and students on and off the field,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “We look forward to the program’s continued success under Coach Myles well into the future.” 


(Photos Colleen McCloskey)

President Trainor actually attended and taught at West Point, and came away with a strong appreciation for the game of rugby.

Myles, who has been a part of Mount rugby for 20 years, is the first full-time on-staff coach of the program, which began in 1973. “As a former Mount Rugger, I have had the privilege of watching rugby grow in both size and notoriety here on campus.  We are blessed to have one of the nation’s finest rugby coaches, Jay Myles, as the full-time head coach,” said Vice President for University Advancement Robert J. Brennan, who provides administrative oversight of and support for the men’s rugby program.  “My role at the Mount provided me with a unique view of the thousands of little things Jay and his coaching staff needed to do in order for the team to win a national title. I am confident Jay is the right leader for our program and that the best is yet to come.”

It all started under previous university president Simon Neuman. He was a huge rugby fan and started the ball rolling to make MSM rugby more than just a club sport. With Neuman leaving, that process slowed down a bit, but lately has picked up steam.

“This allows us to be one of the top sports on campus,” said Myles. “We’re not a varsity sport but we’re under the Athletics Department umbrella. It will help us with recruiting, it gives us tremendous stability, and gives us access to the weight room and other facilities, and the trainers. I am very excited.”

Despite being a small colleges - only 1m600 students - Mount Saint Mary’s is a very strong D1AA team in a strong conference (the Chesapeake), and it’ that national-level potential that has the school interested (along with the chance to recruit from a growing pool of Catholic high school rugby players). 

“The University continues to buy into what we’re doing, and that’s just the start,” said Myles.