Following the commitment of ten D2 conferences, National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) is proud to announce a new Men’s Open Division that will introduce a new men’s Open National Championship pathway starting in the Fall of 2020. Brad Dufek has been appointed as the Men’s Open Division Commissioner.
Many of these conferences are already participating in NCR’s small college competition with just the Gateway and Great Midwest Conferences joining for the first time as well as the newly formed Allegheny Rugby Union’s DII league. With 75 men’s Open Division teams from across the country, the Open Division conferences joining NCR at this time are:
- Allegheny Rugby Union
- Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference
- Deep South Collegiate Rugby Conference
- Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference
- Great Lakes Collegiate Rugby Conference
- Great Midwest Collegiate Rugby Conference
- Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference
- Midwest College Rugby Conference
- Northern Lights Conference
- Southern Rugby Conference
Dufek, a USA L300 coach just completed his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Quinnipiac women’s rugby team in 2019/20, after helping the Bobcats earn NCAA national titles in his first three seasons with the program. In addition to his time at QU, he assists with the Yale University Men’s program, the New Haven RFC Men’s senior side, and coaches with the Rebel Rugby Academy High School Boys program.
Brad stated that “I feel incredibly fortunate to lead NCR’s newly formed men’s division. NCR truly has the best interest of the collegiate rugby student athlete at the top of their priority list and I will only look to help maintain and improve that experience.”
Dufek will work with the Open Division commissioners to establish a competitions committee which will guide the new structure as well as planning the playoffs leading to a national championship scheduled for December 5-6. The new division will largely consist of current Division 2 teams—from both large and small schools— as well as teams from the current small college division. NCR’s Small College Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions will not be affected.
NCR CEO, Steve Cohen commented: “The Open Division is a natural evolution for our organization. We are excited to welcome these prestigious rugby conferences and pleased to have someone of Brad’s caliber leading the competition. We will continue to provide the same level of services to our small colleges while increasing our overall scale benefits, championship pathways, and access to venues.”
The introduction of the Open Division is one part of NCR’s expanded strategic plan. NCR recently announced that it has confirmed general liability and personal accident insurance coverage for its members. The organization will also introduce a new registration and competition management platform, and expand it’s staffing model prior to the 2020 season.