The Air Force rugby program began in 1968 and, as the academy was all-male, consisted only of a men's team. In 1980, the Air Force began competing in collegiate rugby under USA rugby, as the NCAA does not sponsor rugby as a sport. Since that time, Air Force has made 18 appearances in the national tournament, earning three national championships—in 1989, 1990 and 2003. Several players have gone on to represent the USA on the US Men's national rugby team, including Ben Trautwein, Matt Schmitz, Josh Dean, Mike Hobson, and Brian Lemay.
The Air Force women's team was founded in 1977, shortly after the first admission of women to the academy. The women's team competed within Colorado for several years, but moved to national competition when the women's national championship competition was organized in 1991. The women's team won the first national championship that same year, and have gone on to win three more, in 1994, 2002 and 2003. Two of the Air Force women's players, Shalanda Baker and Laura McDonald, have gone on to play for the United States women's national team.