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NCR’s South Atlantic Conference Adds 6 DI, DII Members

  • 09 Jul 2024
Lander rugby

NCR — The South Atlantic Rugby Conference (SARC) continues its expansion with the addition of six new women’s teams for the fall 2024 season. The new members will compete in National Collegiate Rugby’s Division I and Division II national competitions. [lead photo: Lander at 2024 CRC 7s / Jackie Finlan]

The new SARC teams include:

University of Central Florida (Division I)
University of Florida (Division I)
Florida State University (Division I)
Howard University (Division I)
Kennesaw State University (Division II)
Lander University (Division I)

The five of the six teams join Division I, creating a robust and varied DI schedule that will nearly double in size. With the shift to SARC, the Florida programs will be competing in fall national 15s playoffs for the first time, bringing greater competitive depth and extending the national footprint of NCR’s playoff-eligible teams.


Florida state rugby

Florida State at 2024 CRC 7s / Photo: Jackie Finlan

‍Lander, a former NCAA program, chose SARC to establish a more regional schedule under new head coach Makayla Lowe and assistant coach Coco Mendoza, both recent Life University graduates.

Howard University, the only HBCU actively playing 15s, is an accomplished team that had previously played in the Capital Rugby Conference. Through NCR’s large national platform, Howard University can extend its influence in growing rugby at other HBCUs.

The SARC was established in 2020 as an NCR member conference with teams in Division I, Division II and Division III. With the addition of the new teams, SARC will serve nearly 40 schools across the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. The extended regular season structure will also allow more opportunities for some regional Division II teams to hold matches with DI neighboring teams.

NCR Director of Women’s Rugby Angela Smarto says, “The desire to produce consistent, quality competition region-wide has been the unifying force for all of these schools to come together under the SARC banner. The South has so many dedicated servants of the game in leadership and coaching roles and NCR is thankful for their continuous efforts to serve their student-athletes the best experience possible.”

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