Life University’s appearance against unbeaten (and fellow nationally top-10 ranked) Army on Saturday at 6:15 at the ACRC Bowl Series in Charlotte was regarded as the de-facto 2014 ACRC championship match.
Life’s rapid rise to become one of the nation’s top rugby teams is one of the sport’s more interesting stories in recent years. The 2010-11 season, their first official year of varsity intercollegiate play, saw the team go 14-2. The team was a semifinalist in the 2012 D1-A Championships and won it all a year later, beating St. Mary’s for the title.
Life University Rugby enjoys full varsity status, one of 17 men’s college rugby programs in the country to have gained that distinction. The team is coached by Dan Payne, former assistant coach for the USA Eagles national team.
Standout players include All-Americans Paris Hollis (senior, lock and prop), Jake McFadden (senior, scrum half and flyhalf) and Glen Maricelli (senior, hooker).
Life is unaffiliated and does not play a regular fall 15s schedule, choosing to play various select teams and highly-ranked college squads. The team concentrates on winter and spring sevens and 15s play.