Monroe College to Launch Women’s Rugby Program Led by Renowned U.S. Rugby “Player of the Decade” Phaidra Knight
College, a national leader in educating urban and international students,
announced today that it will launch a Women's Rugby program to start in the
Fall 2017 semester.
Phaidra Knight, a well-known and respected U.S. Rugby
“Player of the Decade” honoree, was named Women's Coach. She will work with
James English, Director of Rugby at the College, to build the program.
The Women's Program follows the successful launch
of the Men’s Rugby program last year. It will provide female
student-athletes the opportunity to play competitively at the collegiate level,
playing traditional "fifteens" in the fall semester – meaning 15
players per team on the field at a time – and the faster-paced
"sevens" tournament-style format during the winter and early spring.
The Women’s program will run parallel to Monroe's Men’s program and compete in
the NSCRO Tri State Conference, which currently boasts 19 women's collegiate
Coaches English and Knight are currently recruiting current
and potential “cross-over” players of varying rugby experience and skills to
join the women’s team for play this fall. Interested players should contact
James English at jenglish(at)monroecollege(dot)edu.
"Consistent with the philosophy of our Men’s Rugby
program launched last fall, our vision is to provide these incoming women
players a positive, healthy environment with the full range of athletic
resources and academic support required for student-athletes to truly thrive,”
he said. “Phaidra Knight is a legend of the international game, with a wealth
of experience playing and coaching. She is a fantastic role model for our
women’s and men's programs, and we are delighted to welcome her to the Monroe
Coach Knight played with the USA Women’s National Team since
1999, having competed in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Rugby World Cups. In 2002 and
2006, she was recognized as a World Cup All World Team/MVP for her position
and, in 2010, was named the USA Rugby “Player of the Decade.” She is a member
of the USA Rugby Congress and the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory
Board. She earned her undergraduate degree with honors from Alabama State
University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
In addition to Coach Knight, the Women’s rugby program will
be supported by the coaching staff of the Men’s program, who have a wealth of
experience leading women’s teams. Coach English is currently Head Coach at
Women's Premier League New York Rugby Club, which is ranked third in the
country, and is the current USA Rugby Women's Collegiate All American Attack
Coach. Additionally, Pro Rugby Ohio and Men's Coach Dylan Fawsitt helped build
the Life University Women’s Program in Atlanta, Georgia.
With the introduction of a Women’s Rugby team, the Monroe
Mustangs athletic program will run 18 teams across nine sports.
Women’s Rugby will be offered as a club sport, yet benefit from many of the
same resources available to Monroe’s varsity programs.