Lauren Barber, Director of Youth & Community Development
Barber started her own rugby career in Noblesville, Indiana with the Noblesville Chaos as a freshman in high school. While balancing other sports, she inevitably thrived in rugby and was recruited to play at Penn State University. Barber helped the Nittany Lions win four National titles and was involved in the USA age-grade programs during her five years there. After graduation, Barber moved to Seattle after landing an intern role for Atavus Rugby focusing on their youth programming and continuing to play rugby with Seattle Rugby Club. She quickly grew within her role to manage all greater Seattle youth activation, including Parks & Recreation, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, and school partnerships. Barber grew as a coach through local opportunities but also in programs executed in other states and in Bermuda.
She expanded her coaching to a team setting in 2018 with the Girls Washington Loggers, the state select side, and is currently their head coach. During the 2019 Major League Rugby season, Barber was tapped to manage, promote, and develop programming for the Seawolves’ Run with the Pack pre-match youth rugby activations. Most of the participants were new to rugby and each event averaged about 40% female participation. In 2020, the first youth event was cancelled due to an abundance of caution ahead of the final MLR match of the Seawolves season. During her time physically away from the pitch, Barber was appointed vice chair of the youth state-based governing body, Rugby Washington, and was hired as a USA Rugby Eagle Scout for Washington U18 girls. Her key stakeholder relationships and experience with the end-to-end pathway for the game will allow her to continue help local players develop, all while recruiting new athletes to the sport in partnership with general manager Pate Tuilevuka and the Seattle Seawolves.