The Colgate University Rugby Football Club was born out of the cold depths of the Hamilton winter. The year was 1967, during Colgate's fabled January Plan. A group of visionary young men -- an epic myth behind each of them, to be sure -- decided to organize Colgate's first athletic club, and prepared to take the art of Rugby Football to new heights. They would wait many months before the Spring thaw hit, and light was shed on the narrow plain, whose thirst is quenched by the Chenango Canal.
It was April of 1967, and the mud flats were soon to be christened with the blood of many men, Academy and Whitnall fields graced with a golden Elysian glow by the early fall of the oak leaves. The blood and sweat of Colgate men, and the sad tears of their opponents, would nourish the green grass for many a summer.
Quiet, fearful whispers spread from Central New York across the nation, as the Colgate ruggers rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. Through the help of warriors past -- alumni of this brutal ballet -- the team was graced with a rejuvenated Academy Field, which to this day remains the premier pitch of the New York State Rugby Conference. The luckiest band of men, for generations since, have called Academy Field home.
Recent years have brought dedicated young men to the ranks of Colgate Rugby, and with them the wise, seasoned cranium of Head Coach Timothy Burdick. The team went through a rebuilding process, starting from the ground up, livening the spirit of the squad and making Colgate Rugby a force to be reckoned with.
The Fall of 2002 brought with it the goal of promotion, and that goal was reached. Colgate Rugby rose to the Empire East (Division II) after completing a tough yet successful season. It was in these days that the ruggers of Colgate set another goal: Ireland.
After a surprisingly successful 2003 fall season in Division II, the men of Colgate set across the Sea for the Emerald Isle. On March 13, a fateful day, 24 Raiders Clad in Red (they would come to be called "The Still Reds") touched down in Shannon. Far from thy valley, their trek across pastures even greener than those of Chenango began with wild spirits.
It was a successful tour, by anyone's terms. The club racked up a win against the University of Limerick Bohemians and a close defeat to the boys of Dublin City College. The elder statesmen of Connacht Rugby, members of the Galway Corinthians, put on a fine show to the Colgate tourists under the setting Irish sun; the vanquished were comforted in the victors' clubhouse, and were treated to fine stouts and Irish stew. It was a splendid tour, overall.
The Post-Ireland-Tour years have brought continued success for the club. The club continues to strive for ever higher goals.
Greg Stevenson 2004