Niagara University has named David Chapman as the program developer and coach of its club rugby program. The men’s and women’s rugby teams currently compete in the National Collegiate Rugby Organization (NCRO) Small College Division.
Since 2013, Chapman has served as the program director of rugby at Colgate University. During his time at Colgate, Chapman managed all operations, fundraising, and recruitment for both the men’s and women’s programs. He was also responsible for the promotion of both programs to Division I competition. Under his leadership, the men’s and women’s sides have competed in several national tournaments, including a national championship for the women’s 7s side.
“We are excited to have David Chapman join the Niagara University community to lead our club rugby program,” said Derek Puff, NU’s director of recreation, intramurals, and club sports. “Niagara’s club sports program continues to grow, which provides students more ways to engage in their university experience. The addition of David to our staff will strengthen the men’s and women’s rugby programs and will allow more students to participate at a competitive level.”
Niagara University’s men’s rugby team began competition in 1976, and the women’s team was formed five years later. Each of the programs have extensive alumni networks and remain engaged with the university, hosting an annual Rugby Alumni Weekend each year. Through the alumni organization they have established two scholarships that are given to current players annually: the Terry Crowe Memorial Scholarship and the Founders Scholarship.
Chapman brings more than two decades of rugby experience to his position at Niagara University, starting with his playing days at Ole Miss, and was inducted into its Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014 as player and coach. David is a certified level-300 USA Rugby coach, a member of the New York State Rugby Referee Society, and he serves as the NCR D1 Liberty Conference Commissioner. He currently coaches or has coached a number of All Star and Select Side Teams.
Niagara University currently fields 22 club sports teams, with more than 450 Niagara students participating in men’s and women’s hockey, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s basketball, just to name a few.