Wildcat Women’s Rugby Records Eighth National Championship While Men Finish Fourth In April, Darrin Barner Named 2017 Male Coach Of The Year


WAYNE – After back-to-back weekends in Pennsylvania, the Wayne State College women’s and men’s rugby program will look back on the early 2018 season on a positive note.

This past weekend, the Wildcat women’s club rugby team acquired their eighth national title. The team won their fourth 15s Championship in the fall while picking up their fourth 7s Title on Sunday in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.

Head coach and founder Darrin Barner was still suffering from his raspy voice after an exciting set of games for WSC.

The ‘Cats scored at will and dominated teams defensively while winning their six matches 188-27 with two shutouts.

“Being that it was in Pittsburg with the defense that we played,” said Barner. “It was certainly a ‘steel curtain’ situation out there by shutting out our opponent in the quarterfinals, then also a fine team from York in the semifinals to move to the final.”

The women will lose five seniors to graduation and will return a young squad in the Fall of 2018 with no seniors.

The previous weekend, it marked the first-ever Final Four appearance for the Wildcat men who came out with a fourth-place finish. WSC had only one senior and two juniors on the team that won several games in their conference, defeated Creighton in the regional tournament and beat the #1 team out of the Texas region.

“It’s very promising what’s going on here,” Barner added. “Again, that falls back onto the recruiting that’s coming in with kids that have high school rugby experience from out of state. You know, they’re looking at a really fine tier-one education here at Wayne State College and advancing their game at the college level.”

Barner started the rugby program at Wayne State College in 2002.

Back in January Barner was also recognized as the 2017 Male Coach of the Year among 450 attendees during the National Coaches Convention that lasted three days in Denver, Colorado.

He stated this is a big honor considering there are right at 1,600 college teams and city club teams. Barner would like to thank Rod Tompkins, all the sponsors, community members and all the players back to 2002.

“We’ve chugged along and chugged along and made steps here these last few years to really promote the program,” Barner mentioned. “Last year, we were voted Program Development Team of the Year for North America.”

As the Spring season ends, recruiting will not stop with high schoolers all over the country paying attention to Wayne State College club rugby.