Katie Dowty became the first varsity head coach of the Dartmouth women's rugby program when she was hired in June 2015.
In her first season at the helm of the Big Green, Dowty guided the Big Green to the 2015 Ivy Rugby Women's Championship by beating Princeton (44-5) and Brown (19-12) at the tournament held in Hanover. The win over the Bears to clinch the title came after falling behind 12-0 at halftime, only to see Dowty's team score the final 19 points of the contest for the win.
In all, Dartmouth finshed the year 7-2 with its only regular season loss coming at the hands of top-ranked and eventual national champion Quinnipiac. Dartmouth qualified for the first ever National Collegiate Women’s Varsity Rugby Association (NCWVRA) Varsity 15s Tournament Championship, falling in a close contest to regional rival Norwich, 14-7.
“I’m very excited to be joining a program and athletic department so focused on growth and a well-rounded student-athlete experience,” Dowty said at the time of her hiring in June 2015. “Dartmouth has such a rich rugby history and is now poised to be a leader in the NCAA women’s rugby movement. This group of athletes is determined to succeed, and I can’t wait to help them make the most of this new opportunity.”
A 2006 graduate of Harvard, Dowty is a former player and captain with the Crimson. After graduation, she moved on to the Beantown Rugby Club from 2006 to 2011, where she served as a player, captain and fundraising chair.
Dowty brings a wealth of international experience to the Big Green as well. A member of the USA Rugby national team from 2010 to 2014, she played with both the 7s and 15s in her four years and made 12 tours as part of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
In that time period with Team USA, Dowty was named the Goff Rugby Report’s 7s Player of the Year in 2011.
One of eight original women in the U.S. to sign on professionally by USA Rugby to play 7s and train full-time at the Olympic Training Center in California, Dowty helped lay the foundation for individuals to enter the newly established program in the years to follow.
Dowty first began coaching as a volunteer with her alma mater in 2009, but it wasn’t until after her time with the national team that she really started making the move into the coaching field. During the spring of 2014, she worked at American International as an assistant working with backs as the Yellow Jackets’ playoff run culminated in a third-place finish at the Division I USA Rugby National Championship.
Priot to her time in Hanover with the Big Green, Dowty has been in the Pacific Northwest, working as an assistant at Central Washington University where she and her fellow coaches have established the first high-performance varsity women’s rugby program on the West Coast. Not only did she help cultivate and advance a program to full NCAA status, but also built a winner in the process as the Wildcats claimed second place in the 7s national championship in May 2015, falling to Penn State in the title contest.