California Golden Bears rugby

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California Golden Bears Rugby
University of California, Berkeley athletic logo.svg
Full name California Golden Bears Rugby
Union USA Rugby
Nickname(s) Golden Bears
Founded 1882
Location Berkeley, California
Ground(s) Witter Field (Capacity: 5,000)
Coach(es) Jack Clark
League(s) PAC Rugby Conference
Team kit
Official website
www.calbears.com/sports/m-rugby/

The Golden Bears have won 26 total championships, including 19 of the last 21. Cal has been dominant in college rugby, winning 26 titles (runners-up once) out of a possible 32 since the national collegiate championships for rugby began in 1980. Current head coach and Cal alumnus Jack Clark took over the team in 1984, and has achieved prolonged success, leading the Bears to 22 national titles, including a twelve consecutive championships from 1991 to 2002 and five more consecutive titles from 2004 to 2008.

Cal also competes in the Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC), the highest profile college rugby tournament in the US. The CRC is held every June at PPL Park in Philadelphia, and is broadcast live on NBC. Cal reached the finals of the 2010 CRC, losing to Utah in the finals in sudden death extra time, and finished third in the 2012 CRC.[1]

Cal also competes for the "World Cup," which is awarded to the winner of the annual series between Cal and the University of British Columbia.

Cal Rugby's home is at 5,000-seat Witter Rugby Field, located near California Memorial Stadium in Strawberry Canyon.

History of Cal rugby[edit]

The 1989 Cal Rugby team in possession of the scrum axe.

Rugby union began play at Cal in 1882 and continued until 1886, when it was ditched in favor of American Football. Rugby would make a return in 1906 after football was deemed too dangerous to play. From 1906 to 1914, Cal rugby garnered a respectable 78-21-10 record. 1914, however, saw the return of football and Cal would not field a rugby team for almost 20 years.

Around the turn of the century American football was being frowned upon for its violence. During this period of uncertainty, rugby made a brief but important reappearance in many colleges, most notably at the University of California and at Stanford University. It was these two Universities, and Santa Clara University, that supplied most of the players to the two US Olympic rugby teams (1920 & 1924) who claimed fame by winning both Gold medals (as 1924 was the last time the Olympic Games staged a rugby competition, this will make the USA the defending Olympic Champions when rugby is re-introduced, after almost a century in 2016).

In 1931, rugby returned under alumnus Ed Graff. 1938 began the era of Miles "Doc" Hudson, who guided the Bears for 37 years and an incredible record of 339-84-23. His successor was Ned Anderson, an alumnus and former rugger for the Bears.

In September 2010, the university announced that rugby would be one of five varsity sports cut as a cost-cutting measure, though the team would have continued to represent the university as a "varsity club sport," which was to be defined by the university administration. A large group of rugby supporters organized and dispute the relegation.[2] On February 11, 2011, the administration reversed its decision on rugby and two other sports, meaning that rugby will continue as a varsity sport.[3]

National championships[edit]

National Championships (26): 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1985 • 1988 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2010 • 2011

The following table is a list of each of the national championships since 1980 in which Cal has reached at least the semifinals.

YEAR LOCATION CHAMPION SCORE RUNNER-UP 3rd PLACE 4th PLACE
1980 Davenport, IA California 15-9 Air Force Academy Illinois Navy
1981 Dayton, OH California 6-3 OT Harvard University Miami (OH) Kansas St.
1982 Greeley, CO California 15-14 Life College Michigan New Mexico St.
1983 Athens, GA California 13-3 Air Force Navy Illinois
1984 Pebble Beach, CA Harvard 12-4 Colorado Long Beach St. Miami (OH)
1985 Pebble Beach, CA California 31-6 Maryland Colorado Illinois
1986 Pebble Beach, CA California 6-4 Dartmouth Air Force Bowling Green
1988 Pebble Beach, CA California 9-3 Dartmouth Air Force Bowling Green
1991 Houston, TX California 20-14 Army Ohio State Wyoming
1992 Colorado Springs, CO California 27-17 Army Air Force Penn State
1993 Houston, TX California 36-6 Air Force Harvard Wisconsin
1994 Washington, DC California 27-13 Navy Air Force Penn State
1995 Berkeley, CA California 48-16 Air Force Penn State Army
1996 Colorado Springs, CO California 47-6 Penn State Stanford Navy
1997 Berkeley, CA California 41-15 Penn State UC Davis Stanford
1998 San Francisco, CA California 34-15 Stanford Navy Indiana Univ.
1999 San Francisco, CA California 36-5 Penn State Navy Army
2000 Tampa Bay, FL California 62-16 Wyoming Army Indiana Univ.
2001 Virginia Beach, VA California 86-11 Penn State Navy Army
2002 Virginia Beach, VA California 43-22 Utah Army Wyoming
2003 Stanford, CA Air Force 45-37 Harvard California Army
2004 Stanford, CA California 46-24 Cal Poly, SLO Navy / Air Force
2005 Stanford, CA California 44-7 Utah BYU / Navy
2006 Stanford, CA California 29-26 BYU Utah / Penn State
2007 Stanford, CA California 37-7 BYU Navy / Penn State
2008 Stanford, CA California 59-7 BYU St. Mary's / Colorado
2009 Stanford, CA BYU 25-22 California Army / San Diego State
2010 Stanford, CA California 19-7 BYU Arkansas State / Army
2011 Sandy, UT California 21-14 BYU Utah / Arkansas State

Varsity Cup[edit]

The following table is a list of each of the Varsity Cups in which Cal has reached at least the semifinals.

YEAR LOCATION CHAMPION SCORE RUNNER-UP 3rd PLACE 4th PLACE
2013 Provo, UT BYU 27-24 California Central Washington / Navy
2014 Sandy, UT BYU 43-33 California Central Washington / Navy

USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships[edit]

YEAR LOCATION FINISH RECORD
2011 College Station, TX DNP --
2012 College Station, TX 10th 4-2
2013 College Station, TX 1st 5-0

Collegiate Rugby Championship (Sevens)[edit]

YEAR LOCATION FINISH RECORD
2010 Columbus, OH 2nd 5-1
2011 Philadelphia, PA 5th-tied 3-1
2012 Philadelphia, PA 3rd 5-1
2013 Philadelphia, PA 1st 6-0
2014 Philadelphia, PA 1st 6-0

PAC Rugby 7s conference championships[edit]

YEAR LOCATION CHAMPION SCORE RUNNER-UP 3rd PLACE 4th PLACE
2012 Los Angeles, CA California 21-12 Utah UCLA Arizona State

Players[edit]

The following is a partial list of Cal rugby players have played for the United States national rugby team, nicknamed Eagles, in a major international competition. Of the 30-man squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, 7 were Cal alums.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SI.com, Dartmouth repeats as rugby national champs, June 3, 2012, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/more/wires/06/03/2080.ap.rgu.collegiate.rugby.championship.2nd.ld.writethru.0859/index.html
  2. ^ "Cal to Cut Five Intercollegiate Teams". The Daily Californian. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2010-09-28. (www.savecalrugby.com)
  3. ^ http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/02/11/athletics-continuation/