History

1966—Rochester RFC founded Int’l U of R Dental School students organized by Notre Dame alumnus Phil Grannan and Hudson Fowler form the first team. Chuck Koltoff blurts out “Aardvarks” when a reporter asks for club"s name.


1969 1st Upstate Rugby Union Tournament champions
1970 The Aardvarks nearly become extinct when many of the players, having finished dental school, return to England. The team is purchased for $67 by Dave Head.
1971 The Aardvarks begin to grow, fielding a second side.

Upstate Rugby Union Tournament Co-Champion
1974 The first “Buck-Fart” game is held, pitting the old boys vs. the young players. This annual friendly continues today as the “Green and Gold.”The first “President’s Dinner” is held; the purpose of which is to give wives and girlfriends a chance to see the human side of the vulgar slobs they normally associate with.

1975 A period of growth continues with Rochester now fielding three complete sides for competition.
1976 Under the leadership of Welsh flanker Viv Booker, the A-side compiles a 15-2 record and wins the Upstate Tournament and Matt’s Tournament.

The B-side goes 10-0 and wins the B-division of the Upstate Tournament.
1980 The club travels to England and Scotland for its first international tour.
1981 The Aardvarks host the first annual Lilac Rugby Tournament.
1986 The first Sister Cities tour takes the club to Waterford, Ireland, where the team was formally greeted by the Deputy Mayor and the President of the Chamber of Commerce.
1988 Aardvark Park is completed and the first match is played.
1995 The Aardvarks begin play in Div I of the Inland Coastal division of the Northeast Rugby Union.
1997 1997 the Aardvarks join the Allegheny Rugby Union in the Midwest Territory
1999-2003 Dead Ants Champions
2001 Niagara 7s Champion

National 7s Qualifier
2002 Spring Cash Tournament Champion

Cell phone antenna deal is secured for Aardvark Park.
2005 The team hosts former USA Rugby national team captain Dan Lyle.
2006 40th Anniversary celebration!
2007 The Aardvarks go undefeated in the Midwest Men"s Div II Conference with 254 points for and only 60 points against.
2013 The Aardvarks leave the Mid-West RFU to join the newly formed Empire Rugby Football GU, pitting the team against metro-NYC clubs.

"The Pavilion" Project kicks off and the initial structure is built.
2016 The Aardvarks celebrate 50 years as Rochester"s premier rugby football club. They celebrate with a ceremonial boat race.

 

The Rochester Aardvarks were founded in 1966 as the Rochester Rugby Football Club. The club’s humble beginnings came from Phil Grannan’s (a graduate and Rugby player from the University of Notre Dame) desire to start a team in Rochester when he came to the U of R for his MBA.  Phil’s dream began to take shape when a local newspaper article was published describing his idea of starting a local rugby team. From this article, Mike Hunt, Neil Barker, Hudson Fowler and Phil began to form a team in Rochester.

Players who played rugby in England and South Africa (and who also attended the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Dentistry) became the first players to play for Rochester. Even though some of the founders did not stay long, the team was set for the future. The “RRFC” traveled and played teams from the Northern part of the United States (Buffalo, Cleveland and Syracuse) and Canada (Toronto, Windsor).

Over the years the Aardvarks have toured England, Ireland, and the Bahamas. Rochester players have made various all-star teams, played in international matches representing the US, territory championships, Empire State Games championships and the National 7s tournament.

The Aardvarks are the sole owner of Aardvark Park, one of the only privately owned Rugby facilities in New York State, and one of a select few in the nation. The facility currently has a restroom accommodations, a permanent building primarily used for equipment storage, an entertainment pavilion, non-potable water, gas and electric. The two fields have irrigation and permanent uprights and measure 144m x 70m and 120m x 60m. The park is located at 3625 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta, NY.

With more than 50 years of history, the Aardvarks have an annual tradition that honors the players who have elevated our team and our sport.  Beginning in 2016, The Hall of Fame Committee nominates and votes players into the Aardvark Hall of Fame.  Recipients are recognized at the annual President’s Dinner and memorialized by having a brick engraved with their name laid in the Walk of Fame at Aardvark Park.  The formal induction ceremony occurs at the annual Presidents Dinner and the brick laying ceremony occurs at the annual Green/Gold Match, which occurs at the end of each spring season.

Since 1966, thousands of individuals have taken the field wearing green and gold, representing Rochester, NY and the Aardvark RFC. The team maintains a database of more than 500 members to date. Please take a look through the list and help us fill the gaps. Once an Aardvark, always an Aardvark.