WCSU Men’s Rugby Club: Team History

The Western Connecticut State University Rugby team was started in 1988 by Jim Fish, Sean Abbott, Matt Crainich, Ed O’Dwyer, and Norm Ryan. These five founding fathers worked hard and it paid off, because in 1990 they won the New England Rugby Football Union Div III championship. As a result of this victory, the club was moved up to New England Rugby Football Union Division II. By 1994 the club was very successful and won the Division II New England Championship, as well as the Division II North East championship. It was during this time that the club also won the Providence Beast of the East Tournament, the largest collegiate invitational tournament in the north east. This is a tournament of approximately 40 teams held in the spring.

Due to a large graduating class in 1996, WCSU RFC opted to compete in division III in 1997, that first year the club made the playoffs. By 1999 the club was back on top and won the New England RFU Division III Championship, as well as the Division III North East Championship. Since then WCSU continued to compete in division III in New England and continued to build on past years championships. In 2004 WCSU went undefeated all the way through the playoffs to once again win the New England RFU Division III Championship, as well as the division III North East Championship. They then in the spring of 2005 WCSU went to South Carolina and competed in the Division III National Championship tournament. The did a good job representing the North East playing Duke University and Lehigh University to take third in the Nation. 

WCSU Rugby has been the longest running, most successful club on campus, and has been one of the most successful sports organizations since its inception. The big reason for the clubs success is due in most part to Rich Sullivan and the rest of the Administration at WCSU, for without their support WCSU Rugby wouldn’t have enjoyed half the success they have had. Also, WCSU Rugby would like to thank the Coaches Bill San Giacomo, and John O’Neill who played for WCSU in college and have been volunteering as coaches of WCSU RFC since 1996.

WCSU Men's Rugby would also like to thank the newest addition to the Coaching Staff...DJ Bullock. DJ was a player and a three time Captain at WCSU.

The next Chapter: Fall 2014
First, for the first time in 17+ years WCSU Rugby has a new coach. Coach Bill SanGiacomo has decided to move on from WCSU and become the new Head Coach for the Danbury Mad Hatters Men's Rugby club. Congrats Coach Bill!!

Coach Bill and Coach John O'Neill started together coaching WCSU in 1996-97. They were very instrumental in putting WCSU Men's rugby on the map and helped to bring the club to numerous NERFU, and Northeast championships as well as an appearance in the Div. III Final four. The last 5 years Bill has been assisted by DJ Bullock who was extremely helpful filling the shoes of Coach John when he left the coaching ranks.
You will all be missed, your endless passion and commitment on the pitch to WCSU Men's Rugby cannot, and will never be replaced.

Now we would like to introduce the new Coach for the WCSU Men's Rugby team, Tom Brewer.

Tom has been involved for most of his adult life in the sport of Rugby. He started his collegiate rugby career at UCONN. From there he had a brief stint in Hartford before moving the NY area where he played a majority of his playing career with Old Blue. He played many times on the NERFU, MET and ERU select side teams in both 7’s and 15's. In 1990, he captained the Eagles B team to a win over the New Zealand 23U team and was selected for the 1991 World Cup team but didn’t play due to injury.  In 1993 he captained the Old Blue 7's team that won the National Championship and was active member of the USA Eagle's 7's team from 1991-1995.  As a player, rugby has taken Tom to Hong Kong, Scotland, Fiji, Cuba, Australia, Uruguay & Canada.

Tom was instrumental with helping to start a team at Ridgefield High School which had a very successful first full year.

Tom has a wealth of knowledge we are very happy he is now a part of the WCSU Men's rugby program. A new chapter is starting at Western, we should all be very excited for it.