The Mountaineer Maul

The Newsletter of WVU Men's Rugby

October 2018




              Luke Ellis –

      Rugby All American





WVU graduating senior Luke Ellis played several different sports throughout his high school career at Nathan Hale High in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin including wrestling, football, baseball and rugby.  Rugby? Yes, rugby.  During his senior year Luke led his team to the Wisconsin Division 2 state championship.  His love for the sport continued throughout his time here at West Virginia University. 

Luke knew he wanted to attend a university with a large-school atmosphere, was far enough from home to get a feeling of independence and had a rugby program.  He looked at Alabama, Minnesota, West Virginia and Wisconsin and felt WVU was the best fit for him.  Luke loves the diverse student population here at WVU, truly embracing his interactions with people from across the U.S. and the world.

Luke entered WVU as a freshman in the fall of 2014 and by the fourth game of that fall season he was starting at the position of wing on an excellent team that won the D1AA Keystone Conference, moved on to the USA Rugby National Collegiate Rugby Playoffs, beat Yale in the quarter finals, and lost to eventual national champion UCF in the semifinal.

Collegiate rugby has allowed Luke to excel in his chosen sport and along with that excellence an abundance of recognition has come his way.  In 2015 Luke made honorable mention for D1A Rugby East Conference, the highest level of collegiate rugby in the U.S.  In 2016 Luke made second team for Rugby East and he made D1A National Player of the Week for his effort against U. of Delaware in November of 2016.  During last fall’s 2017 season Luke made the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference All Star team, leading the West team to victory.

In August of this year, Luke was one of 83 student-athletes in the United States chosen by USA Rugby to attend the Men’s Collegiate All-American (MCAA) Selection Camp in Glendale, Colorado. This program is used to identify players for consideration for the U.S. National Rugby Team, the Eagles.

Prior to attending WVU, Luke’s travels outside of his home state of Wisconsin were limited to a visit to Illinois.  West Virginia University and WVU Rugby have provided opportunities for Luke to expand his horizons to New York City, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Luke made sure to experience the local culture by trying the food favorites of each of these areas during his visit.

Although Luke will be leaving us in December after graduating with a major in Apparel Design and Merchandising, he will leave a legacy of leadership for other student-athletes to follow.  Luke credits WVU and the WVU club sport system with opening him up to the world of leadership.  Luke fosters this atmosphere within the rugby team.  He leads by example:  Always at practice, always putting in 100% effort during drills, fitness and conditioning, knowledge of the sport, and by mentoring others into leadership roles.  Luke stepped down from his position as club president one year early, so he could train a new president, allowing for a smooth transition into a difficult role.  He has served as team captain for the past four years.

“The WVU club sport system is set up to help students learn about real life” Luke says.  The head of the club sports department asked Luke to help develop a more equitable system for using WVU’s funding for individual club teams.  Luke researched other universities and developed the template that is still in use here at West Virginia University.

Luke Ellis has been deeply impacted by his experiences here at WVU.  He has used those experiences to impact the lives of many others and will carry these skills with him as he steps into his next set of opportunities. ,


By Tim McCarthy, 9/24/18


WVU Men's Rugby Club Fund Now Open for Donations

Thanks to former Coach Richard Glover's generous donation of WVU Rugby apparel, our customers from the on-line store, and a donation and administrative assistance from Coach Tim McCarthy, plus help from the staff at WVU Foundation, our club now has an official 501c3 account at the WVU Foundation.  This account is critical for the future success and sustainability of our beloved rugby club here at WVU. 


The student athletes pay dues each semester and we get some financial help from the Club Sports office at WVU and this goes toward paying our seasonal operating expenses.  However, in order for us to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference or any other conference for that matter, we need to invest in the future of our club.  This includes attracting a qualified coach and providing scholarships for players.  Our initial goal is $15,000.00 as a coaching stipend and $35,000.00 for partial scholarships.  This is a very realistic goal for a beginning budget and will put us on the front foot again as far as competing on the field. 


Collegiate rugby in the U.S. is growing very rapidly and many schools are investing in their rugby programs by way of paid coaches and student athlete scholarships.  Just this year in our area, Mt. St. Mary's in Emmittsburg, MD and Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV have hired full-time coaches, part-time assistant coaches and have provided scholarships for student athletes.  Most of the teams we play against have either a youth rugby feeder program or give rugby scholarships or have both of these.  We receive dozens of inquiries from high school rugby players from all over the U.S. and the world, who are interested in in our academic programs and playing rugby at WVU.  Their only requirement is a partial scholarship to help with some of their expenses.


If you are a WVU Rugby Alum, a fan, a booster, a parent or a friend of WVU or WVU Rugby please get involved and support our program.  If we could get 250 people to donate $200.00 each, we would meet our goal.  Please send a check made out to WVU Foundation, P.O. Box 1650 Morgantown, WV 26507-1650  In the notes line write account # 2W1313  or “WVU Men’s Rugby Club Fund”.  

MARC Names Men's Collegiate All Stars 1/1/18

By Jack Bukowski

Roster and recap of the 2017 Fall 15's Men's All Stars...

On December 2nd, the Mid Atlantic Rugby Conference held its first ever All Star match in Conshocken Pa. The All Star match consisted of two teams, MARC West and MARC East.  The teams were made up from the entire MARC Men's Collegiate Division which includes 36 teams in D1AA (formerly Keystone), D-2, and NSCRO.  In November, open tryout camps were held to form the MARC East and West side with the Dec 2nd East vs West match being used to pick an overall MARC All Star squad.

The coaches were impressed with the player turnout for the initial selection camp and knew they wouldn't be disappointed in the East vs West match. It was a great day of rugby with fall like temperatures and a sizable crowd of family and rugby enthusiasts. Although both teams put in a tremendous effort in the match, it was the West that would run away with the victory. There were many players that showed an extremely high level of play in the match. This resulted in a higher than expected number of players named to this year’s All Star team. In addition, several Saint Joseph's University players that made the initial tryout were unavailable for the game because SJU was competing in the USA Rugby Collegiate D1AA Fall 15's National Championship Match on the same weekend of the match.  

Congratulations to all the players named to the final MARC All Star side and all that competed for their perspective East and West sides. See the roster below of those players that have been named to the team. MARC is hoping to move beyond inner conference all star competition with select players to compete against other conferences. 

A special thanks to Alex Romano and Franklin & Marshall College for hosting a two day camp at their excellent facility and use of equipment. Alex also filmed the camp, match and provided professional like photography.

WVU placed three players on the West team: Luke Ellis at Fullback, Sam Krizner and Adam Barrington at Flanker.  Adam Barrington: “Luke, Sam and I are honored to be chosen for the MARC Conference All Star team.  The fitness level Coach John Baker required of us during the season allowed us to compete at an extremely high level during the tryouts.”


National Honor for Fullback Luke Ellis 

Luke was selected to the D1AA first team by for his outstanding performances in the fall of 2017.  Luke was one of the highest scorers in the MARC Conference, played excellent defense the entire season, and led the team once again with his intense dedication to the team and the game he loves.