NCR — The Lonestar Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference becomes the latest conference to join National Collegiate Rugby. The Lonestar Conference spans Texas and Oklahoma, and includes the following teams:
Angelo State Univ.
Sam Houston State Univ.
Southern Nazarene Univ.
Univ. North Texas
Univ. Texas – Austin
Univ. Texas – San Antonio
Texas Tech Univ.
Texas A&M Univ.
Texas State Univ.
Chris Botto, Head Coach for Letourneau University, will serve as the Commissioner for the Lonestar Women’s Conference. Botto said, “We are excited to join NCR for the robust rugby opportunities the organization provides for college women along with NCR’s undeniable emphasis on community, family, and growth. It is an exciting time to be part of women’s rugby in our region, and NCR is at the forefront of waking the sleeping giant through promotion at the college ranks.”
Along with the Big 10, Lonestar is the second major conference to move to NCR this year. With these additional conferences, NCR will introduce both a Division I and Division II postseason pathway for all members. With over 200 member clubs, NCR now includes over 60% of non-NCAA rugby nationwide.
Texas Small Colleges previously competed in NSCRO 7s National Championships and All Star 7s competitions in Florida, which Botto coached. In 2022, the Lonestar Conference competed in the expanded Division I All Star Tournament and won the title in front of a home crowd in Houston led by University of Texas Coach Kris Karsten. Karsten then led UT to third place in the Division I Club championships at the 2022 CRC.
In total, the NCR women’s competition includes over 200 teams and has experienced significant growth over the past three years as NCR has made investments to strengthen marketing, expand its championship pathways and all-star programming, and grow its staffing structure.
Angela Smarto, NCR Women’s Director, said: “I can’t wait to work with Chris Botto, and the rest of the Lonestar teams to put their programs on the platform they deserve. The teams have proven they belong on a national stage, and I am excited to see how they fit into our expanded competition.”