After a national search and many applicants, Athletic Director Richard Bedard is pleased to announce Melanie Denham as AIC’s first ever Head Women’s Rugby Coach. Melanie will be coming on full time at AIC July 1, 2012.
Bedard added this to the hire announcement, “Mel is a perfect fit for our institution and bringing her on full time is consistent with our institution’scommitment to the sport of rugby. Her high level experience and pure enthusiasm will attract qualified student athletes from all over the country. We can’t wait to see where she takes our women’s team.”
Melanie accepted the full time position at AIC and joins us after two years as an assistant coach of the women’s rugby team at Harvard University. In that time, the team experienced immense growth, winning a Division II national championship in 2011 and moving up to Division I in 2012.
In addition to coaching at Harvard, she has been trained as a technical coach for USA Rugby’s Coach Development Program. She facilitates 1 to 2 day technical clinics designed to educate both coaches and players.
In her playing career, Mel has been a steady fixture for Beantown Rugby since 2005 and has served on multiple executive board positions within the club. She has mainly been featured as a loose forward and captained the team for multiple seasons.
In 2008, Mel earned her first cap with the Women’s National Rugby Team (The Eagles) against England during the Nations Cup. In the four years since, she was named to the 26 player squad for the 2010 Women’s World Cup and has earned fourteen more caps against England, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, and Ireland. She is still currently a member of the US Women’s National Team Program and will balancing these two commitments during her early tenure.
“”I’m really excited to have this opportunity at AIC. The development of this promising program is a huge step in the right direction for the future of rugby in the US. To be a part of it is an honor. I’m looking forward to giving these women something I could have only dreamed of in college.”
A native of Norwell, MA, Mel is a graduate of Bridgewater State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental geosciences.
The women’s rugby team at AIC finished the 2011-2012 season with a 7-3-1 record and winning a conference championship in Rugby Northeast. The team is returning all but three graduating players.