History


The UNF Rugby Football Club was founded by James Perreault in September of 2003, and after extensive recruiting and fund-raising, UNF was able to field two full sides for the John Graham Sevens Tournament in December. This marked the beginning of competitive play for the Deadbirds. Through the years, UNF Rugby became a fierce competitor in the state of Florida with already having three undefeated seasons and multiple trips to Florida Cup Tournament.

Jacksonville Axemen coach and co-founder, Darryl “Spinner” Howland coached UNF during their first competitive appearance. The reigns were then passed to Mike “Hammer” Connolly, who was a local JAX RFC player. Hammer brought with him a wealth of rugby knowledge as well great connections throughout the local rugby community. For eight strong seasons, Hammer could be found putting to life the hopes and dreams of Deadbird ruggers, all while leaving a positive imppression on each and every player. After Hammer resigned in 2011, a new coaching staff was assembled. UNF brought on board Richard Alleger and Chris Luyster. Both having years of competitive rugby played, they instill that pride and honor into every new player that walks on the pitch.

unf rugby wins DIII usa rugby southIn 2012, UNF Rugby got their first bid into the USA Rugby South Division III Championship where they beat both of their oppositions by a combined score of 41 – 0. The Deadbirds advanced to the NSCRO National Championship final four in Glendale, CO where they would face Cal-Maritime  Academy in the first round. The match was one for that ages as the Deadbirds held their own on a national stage, meeting their opposition punch for punch. In the end, they would finish the tournament ranked 4th in the nation. 

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