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Lindenwood has appointed Old Blue 7s head man Billy Nicholas as its women’s head coach. Nicholas led Old Blue to a second-place finish at Club 7s Nationals earlier this month, and he just finished up working with Olympic hopefuls at the American Rugby Pro Training Center in Little Rock, Ark.
“We had some exceptional candidates apply for the position, all of whom could have excelled in the role. However, Coach Billy really shone through in the process,” said Lindenwood director of rugby JD Stephenson.
“As a whole, we’re heavily invested in the domestic game and I believe Coach Billy will be able to attract, develop and produce future Eagles in both forms of the game. We’re really excited moving forward with the women’s program and the bright future it has.”
Lindenwood’s women’s program enjoys the same funding, access to facilities and amenities as the men’s program, but it’s failed to make the same strides on the field. Nicholas was brought in to change that.
"This season we are looking to bring women's rugby at Lindenwood University to a whole new level and become a top ranked National Division 1 team. The girls will be working very hard this season on and off the pitch to be stand out student athletes with the focus on academics combined with an elite training schedule to maximize each student's potential," said Nicholas.
"The facilities that our players have access to are a notch above the rest around the nation. Players have access to new elite training centers specific for athletes and great coaches, strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers.
“We offer the most competitive rugby scholarships here at Lindenwood to make the cost of attending college considerably affordable. Not only does the college provide some of the best facilities I have ever seen, it also sets up the student athletes for success because the program is heavily supported by the administration here on campus."
Lindenwood’s women kick off their season Sept. 6 against Northern Illinois in the hopes of reaching the postseason in its second year in DI.