Baylor Rugby is at a very pivotal time in its 25+ year history. Having had great success in the lower divisions of collegiate rugby for several years in the 2000's, (culminating in a Division II National Championship in 2001) Baylor now competes in the highest level of collegiate rugby in the United States D1A. Locally we play other large schools such as Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and UNT in the Red River Conference. As Baylor did in 2017, when you win your conference you move on to the national playoffs where you play other conference champions from around the country. The competition and the stakes get higher the deeper you go into the playoffs. There's currently a pretty big drop in skill level from the top 10-15 programs in the country and the rest of "us." The correlation between the haves and the have nots boils down to one single element: funding. Of those 10-15 top programs, a good majority of them are varsity programs receiving resources, funding, and facilities directly from their University's athletic department. The remaining elite teams are well funded by their large and active alumni groups and the donations they receive from them. Many have multi million dollar endowments to pull funds from. They can hire full time coaches and staff, have access to athletic department trainers and medical teams, and play in stadiums on campus exclusively built for rugby. This is unequivocally the clearest pathway to follow for success at this level of competition.
Baylor Rugby's current leadership in conjunction with our alumni association board of directors has built a well thought out vision and executable plan to move ourselves into this top tier of elite teams. Success wont come overnight, but we feel confident with enough continual support and some time to build, we can reach our programs goals. Long term we would hope to one day play in a rugby specific stadium on campus and to provide athletic scholarships to prospects both domestically as well as internationally. Our short term goals include building a staff full of experienced top level coaches, investing in portable light towers to train in the evening, and acquiring a dedicated licensed athletic trainer who can work with our athletes each week over the season.
In order to do so we need financial investments from not only our active alumni, but also additional Baylor benefactors who are interested in seeing another Baylor sport team win a national championship (in Baylor Rugby's case again). Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in America and one of the largest club sports for Universities across the country. It's only a matter of time before rugby is sanctioned by the NCAA as a varsity sport, unlocking funding from the university's athletic department. Until then, we are 100% reliant on player dues and generous donations from alumni, family, and friends of Baylor Rugby.
Donations given to the club will help cover the expenses that the team incurs each season. Below is an outline of the typical annual budget the club operates within.
Fees paid to USA Rugby and D1A Rugby to cover referees and league support
The university requires buses to be used for travel over a certain distance. The conference schedule plus any nonconference away matches therefore require significant travel expenses
Venue + food + awards for our annual banquet. This is an opportunity for players and alumni to come together to reflect on the season
Equipment and Kit
Equipment for match day, training, medical, film, etc. and any kit the club needs such as shorts, socks, and jerseys
Marketing, Web, and Social
Promotional items, advertising, recruiting, and community engagement
Before each match, the team gathers for a meal together to bond and discuss their excitement for the upcoming match
compensation for the coaching staff as well as reimbursements of expenses related to travel, certifications, and continuing education
Thank you for taking the time to consider supporting Baylor Rugby Club.