The Tulsa Rugby Football Club was formed in 1974 by Chris Sutton and a small band of dedicated enthusiasts. On March 1, 1975, Tulsa RFC traveled to Fayetteville where we bested the University of Arkansas 6-3 in the first match of a winning tradition.
In its first three seasons, Tulsa RFC lost as many games as it won, but in the fall of 1976 we finished 9-2 and we have not had a losing season since. 1977-78 established Tulsa RFC as a regional power when we beat arch rivals Oklahoma City and other top clubs for the first time.
Randy Lionberger became coach in 1978, he is credited with turning the club around and with much of the clubs early success. He was the first ever recipient of the William Webb Ellis Award, now known as the Jared Shoemaker Award, presented for dedication and service to the club. Also in '78, Tulsa joined with other Oklahoma and Arkansas clubs to form the Ozark Union of the Western Region of the United States Rugby Football Union. In our early history Tulsa generally dominated our union in terms of won-lost records, championships, representatives on the union side, and members in the union administration. As many as three of our players advanced to the Eagles, our national Rugby representatives.
In 2011 the TRFC Women's side was formed thanks to the efforts of founders Tracy Rothermel and Necole Carpenter and Coach Steve Morris.
Hall of Fame
The Tulsa Rugby Football Club Hall of Fame recognizes special achievement and contributions to the sport and the club. The inagural Hall of Fame class was introduced at the 40th Anniversary Banquet in 2014 at the Sky Lounge in Downtown Tulsa. To date 19 people have been inducted into the HOF, including the 2018 class of Robert Lindsey and Jim Jones.