Tuesday, October 22 2019

10-2-19, Brian Ketcham, Head Coach, NC State Rugby

The guest speaker for our upcoming meeting will be Brian Ketchum, Head Coach for the National Champion’s NC State Rugby Club. Here is a description of the success of the Club. NC State captured the DII men’s national title with a convincing 57-12 win over two-time reigning champions Wisconsin-Whitewater. It was the first national championship in program history. NC State came out of one of the toughest conferences in the country and finished the season unbeaten. It was the most skilled and athletic team in program history, with athletes converted from other sports, North Carolina kids who came through the growing youth program, and international students.

The NC State University Men’s Rugby Club is one of the oldest club sports at NCSU, dating its origins back to 1965. Over the years NC State has primarily focused on 15s play, however with the introduction of Sevens to the upcoming Olympic Games the Wolfpack has found recent success in this shortened version of the game. A few years ago, the Club took the Championship title for the Carolina’s League in its inaugural season and then competed in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, both in 15s and 7s play. NC State had been the tournament champion for the ACI 7s in Greensboro, NC two years in a row and tied with four other teams to finish thirteenth overall in the first ever National Collegiate Sevens Championship hosted by USA Rugby. or back at home fighting for our country.

As far as competing on a D-II level, after winning the National Championship, Ketcham stated, “Some people give us grief because we are a D-I school but play in D-II. That happened for a number of reasons that aren’t due to us. The loss of the ACRL [Atlantic Coast Rugby League] left a void of D-I quality rugby clubs in this region and our Club status and minimal budget leave us few options when we need a conference to play and qualify. We beat a number of varsity level teams handily this year and the performance this weekend is an exclamation point on the validation if our volunteer, Club system”.

 

Mark Your Calendar

10/16/19 – Jeff Mullins, Duke and NBA Basketball star
11/6/19 – Special Guest Speaker
11/20/19 – A Different Special Guest Speaker


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