University of Utah Men's Rugby
By Krista Numbers
One word to describe rugby at the University of Utah is growth. The program has seen many changes in the last few seasons including a Utah Men's Collegiate Rugby Foundation being formed, former players turned coaches, and some fresh players coming on board. They have an amazing record as of late and are looking forward to the start of another great season.
In 2002 the team traveled to Virginia Beach, Virginia where they took the second place title in the nation, losing to Cal Berkeley. They were then under the coaching of Rudolph Mehl. In spring of 2003 they made it to the Sweet 16, finishing tenth in the nation. Today the team is coached by Ryan Dunyon and Mark Numbers. Both are former players for the team and have a track record of their own preceding college days. Ryan played at Brighton high school and went on to play for the Pacific Coast Grizzlies. Mark had great success playing at Highland High school.
As a club sport at the University of Utah, the players are responsible for raising their own funds to pay for registration, equipment, travel, and all other facets of the program. The coaches and staff are all voluntary positions and the players are constantly searching for sponsors and new avenues to raise funds. Bill Hadfield, a local business owner, is President of the Foundation and volunteers a great deal of his time to helping the team meet their various needs. Another word to describe the program is dedication.
The future holds great things for the Utah rugby team as their program continues to grow and they strive to increase the excitement of rugby in Utah.