GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Walsh University Announces Coaches for New Rugby Program

irish rugby tours

Walsh University Announces Coaches for New Rugby Program

Left to right: Kelly Wallenhorst, Jason Fox, Cornel Britz.

Walsh University has announced its coaching leadership team for its new rugby programs.

This is the university that has taken over the rugby program from Notre Dame College—NDC has ceased operations as a college. Over 40 of the men's players from NDC and over 20 of the women's players have transferred to Walsh, and former NDC Director of Rugby Jason Fox will retain that position at Walsh.

Walsh University to Adopt Notre Dame College Rugby Programs

Fox will also return to being Head Coach, a position he held previously at NDC before stepping away from some of the day-to-day coaching responsibilities. Cornel Britz has been named Men's Rugby Assistant Coach.

Walsh will take on NDC's spot in the Rugby East Conference and will compete in a National Collegiate Rugby postseason.

Rugby East Unveils 2024 Schedule

Jason Fox has been named Director of Rugby and Head Coach for the men’s rugby team. Fox brings extensive experience and a proven track record, including guiding the Falcons to national prominence.

“I am honored to be part of Walsh University and to lead the Cavaliers rugby program," said Fox, who led NDC to a USA Rugby D1AA title in 2016 and oversaw the team's NCR D1 championship this past fall. "I look forward to building on the team’s previous successes and creating a vibrant, competitive environment that our players and fans can be proud of.”

Cornel Britz is a former semiprofessional player who played for the Griffons U19s Currie Cup in South Africa and holds a degree in Sport Science from Stellenbosch University. Britz will assist Fox in all aspects of the men’s program.

The Walsh University women's team will compete in the Allegheny Rugby Union and in NCR's postseason.

Kelly Wallenhorst takes on the job of Head Coach. Wallenhorst, who earned her MBA from Notre Dame College, brings numerous academic and athletic honors. As a first-time head coach, she will oversee all aspects of the women’s rugby program, including recruiting, scheduling, and fundraising.

Wallenhorst said, “I am thrilled to lead the women’s rugby team at Walsh University. We aim to build a strong, competitive program that excels both on and off the field.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the rugby teams and Coaches Fox, Britz, and Wallenhorst to Walsh University,” said President Tim Collins. “Athletics serves as one of the largest learning laboratories on campus, offering invaluable lessons in teamwork, leadership, and resilience. This move not only enhances our athletic offerings but also aligns with our Catholic mission of fostering community, integrity, and excellence. We look forward to the positive impact they will have on our university and the broader community.”

Walsh University leadership collaborated with Fox to evaluate the feasibility of integrating the rugby teams into its athletic program. To accommodate them, Walsh has designated the grass fields on the north side of the Klekotka Tennis Complex as the official home pitch for the new rugby teams.

The addition of these coaches marks a significant milestone for Walsh University, promising to uphold and advance the legacy of rugby excellence established by Notre Dame College. The rugby teams have a rich history of success and achievement that align with Walsh’s tradition of athletic excellence.

“Keeping the teams together was a priority for us, and we’re honored they chose Walsh,” said Christina Paone, Interim Vice President for Athletics and Athletic Director. “I am excited to work with these talented coaches and look forward to the success they will bring to our rugby programs.”

Since committing to assist Notre Dame College students on February 29, hundreds of Notre Dame students have visited campus, and Walsh has received 130 applications as of April 1, with applications steadily coming in. The University has set up a fundraising page at specifically for Notre Dame students transferring to Walsh. Donors can further restrict their gifts to the rugby program.