About Purdue Rugby
Purdue University fielded a rugby team for the first time in the spring of 1970. Todd Davis, who had played most recently for Washington, D.C. RFC, was returning to campus and arrived with a schedule for the then non-existent Purdue team already confirmed in November and December of 1969.
Davis put out the call on campus and one of the first responders was John Burns, with California and Atlanta rugby experience. He was to become the first club president. Almost simultaneously, graduate student ruggers from England, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa joined to-gether with many enthusiastic Americans to form a winning XV from the get-go. The first game was a 14-6 victory over Fort Wayne.
Coincidentally, University President Fred Hovde had been a Rhodes Scholar and won his Oxford Blue vs. Cambridge in the 1931 fixture – only the third American to do that at the time.
From those 1970 beginnings the Boilermakers launched a colorful history that includes hosting the infamous 1972 Big Ten Tournament, putting together many championship-caliber teams with select-side players over four decades, and culminating that 40-year span with a large anniversary gathering in 2010 with their rivals and comrades from Indiana University.
With the start of the Big Ten Universities Rugby Conference and the inclusion in Division 1A rugby in fall 2012, Purdue is looking to add to its long, proud history. With many second generation Purdue rugby players and several other talented, young players, the future remains bright for the Boilermakers!
If you’re interested in joining Purdue Men’s Rugby, please contact our head coach, Mark Behrens, or our president, Jeremy Lehman. See “contact” tab for contact information, or visit our facebook page or club website. We welcome players of all experience levels!