Tacoma Rugby Club

Men's Rugby, Women's Rugby, Youth Rugby

History by the Years

1974
January: The club was founded by a handful of men spearheaded by Ed Winskill and Jeff Carlson. The first executive committee consisted of: Ed Winskill, President; Tony Weeks, Vice President; Jeff Carlson, Secretary & Treasurer. September 12: Our application to join Fraser Valley Rugby Union is accepted. Union dues were sixty-five dollars. The club flounders due to lack of men and energy and barely survives the first season primarily due to rigors of travel. December 30: Our membership in Fraser Valley Rugby Union is suspended. We are in violation of Article VI, Section 4 of the Constitution Bylaws-”Absence without just cause from two consecutive union meetings.” (This was remedied shortly thereafter.)

1976
Ed Winskill reforms the floundering club. Andy Smith shows up for the first game (vs. Bangor) and appoints himself coach. They launch a spring ad campaign replete with Fat Fred posters. 43 people show for the first practice at Jefferson Park. We join the newly formed Western Washington RFU and play a full schedule for two teams. Andy Smith writes the Constitution. (He had the nicest handwriting and the only inkling of what a Rugby Constitution was!) It was adopted at our first AGM held at the Clover Leaf with great harrumph by the members. Barney Rapp and Steve and Jeff Page hitch up with the Nomads-for life.

1977
Aug: The first Tacoma Sevens is launched in Steilacoom. The Nomads win first place!! Andy Smith, Dave Taskila and Pete Carlson are the proud co-directors.

1978
Barney Rapp purchases the rugby motel on North 31st street. Dues were twenty dollars and practice was at Hunt Jr. High (Daylight Savings) and Franklin Park under car headlights. The Nomads win third place in the Armadillo Classic. The award is a toilet seat.

1979
Jim ‘Tank’ Yeilding moves to the NW, gets health insurance and searches for a local rugby club. Peter Buckley refers him to Valley and Tacoma. Tank can’t find the Valley practice field. 1980 Tank becomes coach of the Nomads.

1980
The Western Washington Union would not sanction the 4th annual Aroma tourney because they felt “Tacoma was making so much money, they should let other clubs reap the benefits of a tournament.” No tournament took place that year.

1981
The Union is restructured into PNRFU. Tacoma opts to play A division. (A positive step) Easter Sunday, 1981, Tacoma wins the Seattle Mud Ball tourney on the fragrant Mont Lake dumpsite. We only had 12 men and pressed former player Rick Baird into service at Hooker. Every time the scrum came together, Rick puked on the ball, and Tacoma won the match!

1982
October 13: The Western Washington Disciplinary Committee suspends Frank ‘Dr. I” Nasser for “mouthing off” at a referee. (Note from Andy Smith: “Was this the first time?”) The Nomads win the Mud Ball, second division.

1983
August: Tacoma is asked to be a National Seven’s Qualifying tournament (for the Aromas) and accepts. The only recorded ‘Rugby Graffiti’ is seen on departure from the Aroma festivities in Orting. A road sign indicating the ‘miles to go’: Sumner 7 was changed to Summer 7’s (but the vandals used masking tape and the cops thought it was real funny.) October: The newly formed Aroma Associates (Steve Page, Jim Magouryk, Barney Rapp, Andy Smith, Frank Kearney, Bobby Knight, Jim Yeilding, Doug Pedersen, Tim O’Hagen, Paul Rock) purchase the our first Club house on East 34th Street. Mike Van Buskirk and Ross Everett were added on as 11th and 12th members later….? Through 85, we keep on winning the Skagit Fest.

1984
Andy Smith becomes coach of the Nomads, again. The Nomads play an exhibition game in the Tacoma Dome.

1986
Nomads host the Japan National team. The Nomads win second place in Spokane RFC’s 12th Annual St. Patty’s Tournament.

1987
Tom Picha broke his High School football protocol by telling Steve Page “Jason Shelton, GET HIM.” The Nomads start there first High School team, The Tsumina’s are born.

1988
April 23-24: Nomads host the Grizzly Shield try-outs. April: Mike Legg’s now famous quote makes the minutes: “We’re the most non-chick gettingest team I’ve ever played for.” May: Nomads bring home the first place trophy in our division from Chuckanut’s Tulip Fest Tournament. After five years of traveling to, and kazooing in parades in Cathlamet, the Nomads win the coveted Bald Eagle Day Cup away from the Jesters. Mike Legg leads several nude Nads in repeated performances of log diving into the Columbia River. This takes place in front of the local restaurant, in full view of many of the town?s upstanding citizens. The two Taverns in town each give us gift certificates to drink at other taverns.

1989
The Nomads and Jesters are banned from Cathlamet. Nomads win first place in the Yakima 10’s Tourney of The Gods. Our biggest trophy ever, it measures 42″ high. Nomads win second place in Skagit Valley’s Ruggerfest.

1989
The Page Brothers create the Two Bills. They debut in the Aroma Sevens. The Year of the Red Dot: We didn’t get the embroidery done for the Lingering Aroma (Old Boys) Puerto Vallarta tour so Barney (ala Lynny Flye) got a bunch of red dots and sewed them on the sleeves. Their meaning is still a (old boy) secret.

1991
Three years of Puerto Vallarta Tours! 1991 Maureen McHugh Ropes steps into position to be the first ever-female executive committee member. She holds the position of Secretary for 2 years. 1992 The Articles of Incorporation are amended in order to meet 501(c)3 guidelines. July 18: Mike Van Buskirk hosts the first and only Cross-dressing Volley Ball Yard Sale Party. It’s a fundraiser for the Tour d’Legg. Oct: Coach Carl, recruited from South Africa, becomes coach of the Nomads and proceeds to drain the club (and club members) of its funds. Carl lasts for seven months before abandoning the Nads for a bigger pocketbook; OPSB.

1992
Aug: The first annual Nomad-O-Lympix is born. Dec/Jan: Tour d’Legg: Nomads tour England and the Cayman Islands (led by tour guide Mike Van Buskirk). The Nomad pub crawl is 15 years old now.

1993
June: Led by Maureen Ropes, the Women of the Tacoma Nomads form their own group; Supporters Of The TNRFC. (S.O.T. formerly W.O.T.)  OPSB (Beach) abandons the Tacoma Aroma 7’s, Tacoma wins the Aroma 7’s and the Nomads go to National in Connecticut. Led by Tobin Ropes, the 7’s team goes to Nationals and place 11th in the US. FYI: The Nads get a spot in the Sports section of the local paper, the Tacoma News Tribune.

1994
Aroma Associates sell the clubhouse. March 10th, and purchases the land for the future club house next to the bottom pitch at Portland Ave. The first S.O.T. meeting. Nads tour Alaska.

1996
After 3 years of Runner-upping, Nads bring home the 1st place iron from Spokane Fools Fest. Pres. Jason Shelton and Mngr. John Hargroves get the Nads On-line. www.tacomarugby.org

1997
Tacoma RFC beats OPSB (Beach)18-5 at Stewart Heights Park, in Tacoma. This is Tacoma’s first ever 15 a side match win over OPSB. The Nomads 20th Annual Pub Crawl takes place.

1998
Mark (Sully) Sullivan leaves New Zealand and takes over coaching for the Nomads. The high school boys win there division and go to the US National High School Championships in Utah.

1999
The Tacoma Nomads Rugby Football Club celebrates its 25th year in existence!

2000
PNRFU decides it’s best for the Union to divide the division into two groups. 1st Div and 2nd Div. The Nomads end up in 2nd Div. The Nomads end up winning the 2nd division and the Pacific Coast Playoffs. The Nomads make it all the way to the US Nationals and end up placing 4th in the US. At our Annual 7’s Tournament, the Nomads introduce U-12 Rugby to the kids.

2001
Nomads Retire!!! After placing 4th at Nationals the year before. Some of our great Nomads retire. Peter Handford get’s married, buy’s a house and has many kids and Jason Hill goes back to school, gets a job, gets married and buy’s a house. Both are never seen again.

2002
Kevin Hyneman arrives to the Nomads (thanks Legg) and gets Ft. Lewis rugby going again. The Ft. Lewis Stud Dawgs even make a few appearances. The Nomads travel to Missoula Montana for The Maggotfest!!! And end up cleaning house (thanks to a few Canadians) winning the coveted BEST TEAM OF THE DAY award.

2003
The Tacoma Nomad Executive Committee goes out and finds Lester Wescott our new head coach. Lester takes the Nomads to a 7 - 1 Fall Record. Casper (Gary McMahon) from Australia shows up on Kirk’s doorstep.

2004
The Nomads go 8 - 0 in league play and 14 - 0 in overall play, but eventually lose to Haggis RFC from Utah in the Pacific Coast Playoff’s. Haggis is later disqualified for using ineligible players in the playoff’s.

2005
While going 6 - 2 in league and 10 - 6 over all. Once again the Tacoma Nomads win the league championship in the PNRFU. While at the Pacific Coast Championships the Nomads go 1 - 1, losing to a tuff Tempe side from AZ. and beating BA Barcus from San Francisco and ending there 15’s season. In 7’s the Nomads qualified for the Pacific Coast 7’s Tournament.

2007
Veteran Nomad Mark Sullivan with the help of Mark Wehn start our 2nd High School team, the Harbour Hurricanes. The Nomads see a lot a new faces on the team. The Nomad Pub Crawl is now 30 years old and still going strong.

2009
This year we start another High School team, this time a U19 girls team. The Harbour Storm are born and in there 1st year they take 2nd place in the state. The Tacoma Nomads Rugby Club celebrates 35 years of existence. And in true Nomad fashion, no one told us.

2010
In the spring of 2010 we meet up with Meg, and decide to start a women’s team for the Tacoma area and the club. The Tacoma Sirens are born. In the summer of 2010, the Tacoma Nomads host the 33rd Annual Tacoma Aroma 7’s Tournament. This years tournament features 34 teams our largest group of teams to date.

2016
The Tacoma Nomads Rugby Football Club celebrates 40 years of the Tacoma Aroma 7's Tournament!