Men's College

John Gulden Named Men’s & Women’s Rugby Head Coach at Marywood University

August 15, 2017

John Gulden Named Men’s & Women’s Rugby Head Coach at Marywood University

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Photo: Marywood University Athletics

Marywood University Release: July 26, 2017

Scranton, Pa. – John Gulden, Philadelphia, has been tabbed to lead Marywood’s newest programs, men’s and women’s rugby, according to an announcement made by Dr. Mary Jo Gunning, Director of Athletics and Recreation. Gulden was selected after an exhaustive search and will begin his duties at Marywood immediately.

The Rugby programs will begin varsity competition in the 2018-19 academic year, giving Gulden a full year to recruit prospective student-athletes.

“John Gulden was chosen by our search committee after completing a national and worldwide search to become our first men’s and women’s head rugby coach,” said Eric Grundman, Chair of the search committee. “Coach Gulden brings to this position a wealth of knowledge and experience, both as a player and as a coach. I believe his enthusiasm and energy will help him to build programs that we can all be proud of. His experience coaching at the varsity level was a critical factor in determining him to be the right fit for this very important position.”

Most recently, the Assistant Women’s Rugby Coach at West Chester University (January 2015-July 2017), Gulden assisted the Golden Rams in virtually every aspect of the program, including practice and game preparation, scouting, recruiting, and off-season conditioning.

“I am honored to be named the Men’s and Women’s Head Rugby Coach and Assistant Sports Information Director at Marywood University” said Gulden.  “I look forward to the opportunity to build a new varsity rugby program from the ground up and excited to be a part of a University that cares so much about their athletic programs.  My goal is to put together two teams that will be competitive from the start. I will dedicate my time to these programs to ensure we have student-athletes that will make the University proud on and off the field.”

Gulden also served as Head Men’s Rugby Coach (August 2013-May 2014) and Head Women’s Rugby Coach (August 2012-May 2013) at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, where he was responsible for every aspect of the program.

In addition to his background coaching rugby, Gulden also brings plenty of administrative experience to Marywood after working in intern capacities in the athletic departments at Saint Joseph University (September 2016-July 2017), Villanova University (summer of 2016) and Bucknell University (December 2011-May 2012). During those stints, Gulden was involved in numerous administrative duties revolving around athletic marketing, corporate sponsorship, facilities, and operations duties.

“The addition of these programs will continue to bolster our recruitment efforts of students from Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the region,” said Dr. Gunning. “Adding men’s and women’s rugby provides student-athletes from a wide geographic area with the opportunity to compete in a growing sport that might not otherwise be available to them.”

Both programs will begin competitive play in 2018-19 as members of both USA Rugby (the national governing body) and the Small College Division of the Mid Atlantic Rugby Conference (MARC).

Marywood will have the opportunity to compete against a wide range of institutions that currently sponsor rugby and will be one of the very few institutions in the country that will employ a full-time coach.
In addition to serving as Head Men’s and Women’s Rugby Coach, Gulden will also serve as Assistant Sports Information Director (SID).

As Assistant SID, Gulden will help the Sports Information office promote Marywood’s 22 varsity sports. He will be primarily responsible for coverage of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s rugby.

A USA Rugby Level 200 and World Rugby Level 1 certified coach, Gulden graduated from Lock Haven University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Administration in 2012 and had minors in Coaching and Aquatics.  During his time at Lock Haven, Gulden served as Captain of Lock Haven’s rugby team in the spring 2011 semester and was the Match Secretary from August 2009- May 2011. Gulden went on to receive a Masters of Public Administration from West Chester (2016) where he also earned Graduate Certificates in Sports Management & Athletics and Administration.