USA Rugby names staff for Women’s Under-20 and Collegiate All-American programs

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LAFAYETTE, CO. – USA Rugby has today named Head Coaches and support staff for its Women’s Under-20s, Collegiate All-American sevens and fifteens programs.

Under-20s will be led by Ricardo Ramirez, current Women’s Rugby Head Coach at Notre Dame who previously served as Assistant Coach for the Girls High School All-Americans from 2016-2018. in 2016 Ramirez was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and led Notre Dame to second place in both the 2010 D2 National Championships and 2018 D1 Fall Championships.

Ramirez will be assisted by current Queen’s University Assistant Coach Emily Record and Yale Women’s Rugby Head Coach Craig Wilson. Women’s Eagle Alumni Sylvia Braaten will serve a dual role as Assistant Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Ramirez said: “I have been a part of the USA coaching pathway since 2016 working with the High School All-Americans and being able to watch players grow and move up with them is exciting. To see players return, meet new faces and move up in the pathway is something I have been lucky to be part of over the years.”

Collegiate All-American fifteens will be led by Katie Dowty — Women’s Eagle Alumni and current Head Coach of Dartmouth Women’s Rugby who’s served previous coaching roles with the Women’s Under-20s and Collegiate All-Americans. At Dartmouth, Dowty helped the program achieve a 2018 NIRA National Championship, as well as three consecutive Ivy League Championships in fifteens (2015-17) and one in sevens in 2018.

Dowty will be assisted by former Women’s Eagle Captain and current Assistant Coach for Rugby United New York Tiffany Faaee.

Dowty said: The Collegiate All-Americans can have a hugely positive impact on the growth and visibility of our game in the American sporting landscape. We are eager to work with the community to keep opportunities accessible, discover new talent, continue to develop those already in the age-grade pathway and provide an experience that will see new faces put their hand up for the Women’s National Team.”

Collegiate All-American sevens will be led by Dave Clancy who coached the USA Women’s Falcons in the recent Hokkaido Governor’s Cup and currently serves as the Director of Rugby for the Chicago Lions’ men’s fifteens program. With the Lions, Clancy formed the first ever women’s fifteens program, achieving Midwest Championships in men’s fifteens and sevens, as well as a Midwest title for the Lions’ women’s sevens program.

Clancy said: “I’m honored to take on this role with the Collegiate All-Americans and to continue working with Chris Brown and Emilie Bydwell who I have so much admiration and respect for. Having been involved with various components of the pathway, I look forward to connecting the dots between the Hawk Eye and Eagle programs with an exciting pool of college talent.”

AnneMarie Farrell will serve as the Team Manager for both Collegiate All-American programs while Anna Kunkel will remain Pathway Manager for all of USA Rugby’s Women’s Age-Grade programs. Martha Daines will continue to serve as Director of the Girls High School All-American program in sevens and fifteens.

Women’s National Team 15s Head Coach Rob Cain said: “There really are exciting times ahead for all aspiring Women’s Eagles 15s players in the pathway. To have consistent development and opportunities is so crucial to what we are doing. These appointments not only show the determination to always set our players up for success but also show the exciting emerging domestic coaching talent within the women’s game. I am excited to be working alongside everyone together.”

All staff were selected from USA Rugby’s coach development program in Project SOAR. Given the age-grade programs are a crucial pathway to helping up-and-coming athletes and coaches reach their long-term goals, Project SOAR will follow with more opportunities for coaches to shadow and assist in age-grade assemblies.

For information about Project SOAR Opportunities contact JD Stephenson at jstephenson@usarugby.org.

To support USA Rugby’s Women’s Age-Grade programs, click here.