About Kutztown Rugby
Kutztown University, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, was founded in 1866. It is a vibrant, modern university, comprised of four colleges and located on 289 acres, in beautiful Berks County, Pennsylvania. The enrollment includes 10,283 students from more then twenty states and countries. Kutztown offers more then one hundred areas of study, one hundred and sixty cultural and student organizations and twenty one NCAA Division II athletic programs. These well rounded programs of athletics, cultural activities and social events, satisfies nearly every taste. Kutztown University aspires to be a regional center of educational excellence, designed to promote success in a global society.
The Kutztown rugby club is no exception to that overall philosophy. Founded in 1984 by a student, Andrew Lewis, he and his original members laid the ground work for the future. In 1986, Dr. Gregg Jones was appointed head coach of the Golden Bears and continues to maintain that position . The team has never experienced a losing season under “Doc’s” tenure, with numerous undefeated seasons and over six hundred victories. Kutztown, originally a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union, has been the dominant force in the EPRU, since compiling a record of 74-5 from 1988 thru 2006. During that fifteen year time period, the Golden Bears appeared in the union’s championship match eleven times. In 1995, Kutztown qualified for the USA Rugby Collegiate sweet sixteen. They appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union, territorial collegiate play-offs, twelve consecutive years, from the 1994 inception of the MARFU Territory, until their exit. In 2007, Kutztown moved out of EPRU competition and became one of the founding members of the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union collegiate premier league, along with Penn State, Navy, Va. Tech, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland. The initial year of league play, saw Kutztown undefeated. In 2008, Kutztown once again qualified for the USA Rugby sweet sixteen and advanced to the elite eight competition. Kutztown’s constant quest for the best competition, prompted them to become a founding member of the Collegiate Premier League (DI-A) in 2011. The club is currently a member of the DI-A East Conference.
Along the way, there have been outstanding individual achievements. Scores of EPRU Select Side and MARFU Select Side player appointments, to numerous to mention. Thirteen USA All-American Collegiate selections and recently, one USA Eagle Sevens Team member, Marco Barnard. The team travels throughout the United States and has toured, the Bahamas, Caymen Islands, Canada and Wales.The club has a scheduled tour to South Africa in the works for this summer. The Kutztown University rugby club, fields three sides, along with their two sevens sides and plays on a dedicated , full size rugby pitch. The university gives the rugby team, one hundred percent support, in all endeavors of managing the sport on campus. There are four full time coaches on the staff with over sixty playing members.
The Golden Bears made an executive decision in 2010, to focus on sevens, as well as fifteens rugby. Their first serious venture in the sevens game, found the club traveling to the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational. The Golden Bears surprised everyone by advancing to the finals and finishing as the collegiate runner-up. The team decided to enter the MARFU Men’s 2011 summer, sevens competition and opened the season by winning the Subaru Sevens. Representing the only pure collegiate sevens team in the country, competing in the Mens competition, the Golden Bears advanced to the MARFU elite eight and missed out on qualifying for the men’s national tournament by one match, losing in the elite eight semi-final. That summer also found them as the collegiate champions of the Surfside Sevens. In the fall of 2011, Kutztown won the Halloween Sevens and qualified for the inaugural USA National Collegiate Sevens Tournament in College Station,Texas. The Golden Bears advanced to the semi-finals and finished fourth in the nation.
The year 2012, saw Kutztown finish in the semi-final of the Las Vegas Invitational , win the Atlantic Coast Rugby League Invitational (ACRL) and once again participate in the USA Nationals. The Golden Bears finished fifth and won the Plate Division of the USA National Collegiate Sevens Tournament. The overall record of the Kutztown Sevens Team is 61-10 . The team’s entry into the CRC will be a significant challenge for the club. They will be led by their captain and two time sevens All-American Tim Acker. He will be supported by two time 15’s All-American Jamie Gregory and 15’s All American, Mike Lawrenson, as well as MARFU 7’s select, Gareth Lourens. You can explore Kutztown University at Kutztown.edu and read about the rugby club at KutztownRugby.com
RUN WITH THE BEARS!