The OSU Rugby Club was formed in 1961 under the guidance of Dr. Murray Dawson, a native New Zealander and soil sciences professor at Oregon State. The team flourished with many varsity athletes played under their scholarship guidelines while sneaking a little rugby on the side. 1966 found the team combining with the University of Oregon to tour Wales and England. 1974 found the coaching reigns handed over to former player Woody Bennett and the team continued to excel playing and winning up and down the West Coast.
1974 also found Oregon State taking their second tour, again to Wales and England. In 1981 the coaching reigns were once more passed to a former player, Mark Webber. That same year the Pacific Northwest Rugby Union Collegiate Conference was formed and won by Oregon State. During the next 6 year the Beavers repeated as Pacific Northwest Champions losing to the eventual National Champion University of California in the Pacific Coast Finals 2 times by a combined point differential of 7 points. Over the next 24 years from 1981 to 2005 that coach Webber served as head coach the Beaver ruggers won the Northwest Championship 17 times and finished 2nd 5 times. The team tied for 5th place nationally 3 times. Oregon State has had 3 players go on to be All Americans and 3 players go on to play for the Eagles. During this same span of time the OSU Rugby Club toured England and Wales one more time, Scotland twice, New Zealand twice, Australia twice, and Ireland once. The 2005-2006 season saw another player, Duffin McShane coach the team for once year. The Beavers once again won the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Championship. The coaching reigns were handed back over to Coach Webber the following season.
The OSU Rugby Club will be celebrating it’s Golden Anniversary in September of 2011 with a yet another goodwill Tour of New Zealand. Our annual alumni game is scheduled for Oct. 29 with 50th year banquet scheduled that evening.
A history of the OSU Rugby Club could not be complete without the mention of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Family. Wayne Valley junior played Rugby for the OSU Rugby club in the mid 1960's. A two sport varsity athlete (Football and Track) Wayne jr. was one of those who had to sneak away on weekends to get in a little rugby. He was a member of the 1966 Wales and England touring side but was tragically killed in a swimming accident in 1969. After his death his parents, Wayne Valley Sr. and Gladys Valley established an endowment for the OSU Rugby Club in Wayne Jr.'s name that today totals over $150,000. Over the next 30 plus years the Valley family continued to support the OSU rugby club both financially and in spirit. Today, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation continues to provide support for the Oregon State University Rugby Club. Oregon State Rugby will be eternally grateful to the Valley family and all they have done for our sport.