Annual Keith Brown Golf Outing 2019

Annual Keith Brown Golf Outing 2019

Keith and Lisa Brown

Keith and Lisa Brown

On Friday, July 12th, we had the annual Keith Brown President’s Cup Golf Outing at Old Orchard CC in Mt. Prospect. We had over 70 golfers and another 10 attend the reception. Lisa Quinn and her foursome regained their title with a score of 17 under! It was a great day for the Lions with so many alumni getting together. A special thanks to Jim Kearney, Tom Lynch and Lisa Quinn for organizing and running a great event.

The President’s Cup Golf Outing is named in memory of past Chicago Lions Rugby President, Keith Brown.

As President of the Chicago Lions, Keith was an inspirational leader and a passionate advocate for the sport of rugby. Keith was instrumental in the formation of the CLCA and in building the partnership with Chicago Hope Academy. His dream of the Lions owning our field is now a reality.

The Keith Brown President’s Cup Award has been established to honor Keith and his boundless efforts in building the Lions organization. As we move forward, the annual award will be bestowed upon the President or Administrator who exemplifies dedication, leadership, longevity, the love of the Club… and of course the game.

Previous award winners are Ed Kane, Dick Smith and David Hall. This year’s winner is Jeff Simon.

Thank you to the following:

  • Taft Law as our Cocktail Hour sponsor
  • Mark Wilcox and Matt Campbell as our prize sponsors
  • All our hole sponsors who supported this great event
Summer 7s Update

Summer 7s Update

While we haven’t finalized our Men’s coach, Matt Wagner has stepped up help lead training sessions. Matt has been club captain and sevens captain, besides a long-time Lions 15’s and 7’s player.

Jeremy Nash will once again lead the Women’s program. If anyone wants to help with the Sevens program, please contact Jeff Simon at chicagolionsclca [at] gmail [dot] com.

The Men’s training is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday @ 6:30pm and the Women’s training is Monday @ 6:30pm, Tuesday and Thursday @ 8pm. New players are always welcome.


  • June 15th: Forest City 7s @ Rockford – Qualifier 1
  • June 22nd: Firehouse 7s @ Lemont – Qualifier 2
  • June 29th: USAR Open Qualifier TBC
  • July 6th: Beach rugby @ Montrose Beach*
  • July 13th: Legacy 7s @ Brighton, Michigan – Qualifier 3
  • July 20th: Midwest Championship 7s @Cincinnati, OH
  • August 10th/11th: National Championships @ venue TBC

*USA Rugby is hosting a Beach Rugby tournament July 6th at Montrose Beach. This should be very interesting and the Lions will be helping out.

Training sessions are held at Altgeld Park at 2640 West Harrison Street. Street parking is available.

Lions Summer Camp – August 5-9, 2019

Lions Summer Camp – August 5-9, 2019

The Chicago Lions are extremely excited to launch our first ever Lions Summer Camp. The camp is open to 8-14 year olds and will run from Monday, August 5th through to Friday, August 9th, 2019. The camp will start at 9 a.m. (drop off will open at 8.30am) and will end at 3:30 p.m. each day (with 1 additional hour of supervised free play to 4:30 p.m.). Participants will be provided with lunch and snacks, as well as a camp t-shirt. The camp will be hosted at the brand new Lions for Hope Sports Complex (2637 W. Polk St., Chicago).

This is not just a rugby camp but a personal development camp. The camp is based around three major concepts:

  1. physical literacy
  2. arts and culture
  3. personal development

The camp will cover the following personal development themes:

  • leadership
  • team building
  • conflict prevention and resolution
  • self-reflections and awareness
  • community service
  • goal setting
  • nutrition

To complete the physical literacy concepts, we will introduce the following sports: rugby, baseball, golf, an obstacle course and soccer. For arts and culture, we will be focused on the different cultures found in rugby adapted into some fun activities and exercises.

  • Resident (28th Ward, North Lawndale, East Garfield Park): $50 deposit
  • Non-resident (all others resident): $200
  • Deadline for registration will be August 6th @ 11.59 pm
  • Waivers will be printed and signed on the first day of the camp

Scholarships are available – please email Andy Rose at youth [at] chicagolions [dot] com.

Wanted: Men’s Sevens Head Coach

Wanted: Men’s Sevens Head Coach

Lions 7sThe Chicago Lions are now searching for a qualified and motivated person for the role of Sevens Men’s Head Coach. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with an ambitious group of players that represent this winning club in the Midwest Rugby Union.

The goal of Chicago Lions Rugby is to win a national championship, establish a competitive academy, and network and recruit Chicago Lions players.

The Head Coach will lead 2 teams – 1 Elite and 1 Developmental – in all training and performance aspects, and will be responsible for developing a successful team environment during the selection, preparation and competition stages.

This opportunity would be from the beginning of June through the National Championships held on August 10-11th, 2019.

  • June 15 – Forest City 7s, Rockford, IL
  • June 22 – Firehouse 7s, Lemont, IL
  • June 29 – USAR Open Qualifier, location TBD
  • July 13 – Legacy 7s, Brighton, MI
  • July 20 – Midwest 7s Championship, Cincinnati, OH & Midwest AGM (Sunday)

Come be a part of a storied tradition with many past and current National caliber player at a state of the are training facility. Coaching stipend with bonus potential is available.

About the team

Chicago Lions Rugby is a premier rugby club in the Midwest and has been a consistent powerhouse in the United States rugby scene since the club’s inception in 1964.

The Chicago Lions are the only team in the Midwest to field fully competitive sides for Men’s Division 1, Men’s and Women’s Division 2, and Men’s and Women’s 7s. The Lions have had several teams within our organization, including an over-35 Grey Lions squad to keep our extensive network of players old and new active and involved. We have an elite, experienced coaching staff and are fortunate to also have a full-service training staff partnership with Athletico at their disposal for training sessions and matches both home and away.

The Lions call Chicago Hope Academy Field their home, located at 732 South Washtenaw in Chicago. This location is a direct result of a long term partnership with Chicago Hope Academy. This partnership with a private, coed college prep school for urban youth creates unique sponsorship opportunities for the club and its supporters. The Lions are also spearheading the development and coaching efforts of the Chicago Hope Academy youth rugby club.

Lions for Hope Sports Complex Update

Lions for Hope Sports Complex Update

We want to provide you an update as we have some exciting news to share as we continue the development of the Lions for Hope Complex. Construction on the West field has been coming along nicely despite the harsh Chicago winter and the rainy past few weeks.

We should have the field completed by the end of July and it will be named the J. Tyke Nollman Field.

We want to thank the First Fifteen, President’s XV and Captains VX  and other donors that have contributed to the Lions for Hope Sports complex that we will call home!

You can still join the team!


At the end of March, we hired Cogeo, a firm specializing in organizational management and development for capital build-outs and initiatives.

Cogeo is a trusted advisor that will guide us to build a better, more professional organization as we continue to take our project to the public.

Most importantly, they will help us develop an effective capital campaign for the remaining phases (the building and East field) and our immediate needs.

There are two short-term projects that Cogeo will help us with:

  1. As we identify potential donors, Cogeo will help us develop the strategy to approach and gauge their interest in becoming engaged with us. We need your help in building out our potential donor list.
  2. Building out our steering committee. The committee is a group of individuals expected to help drive campaign activity by connecting us with their network. Being on the steering committee is not a big time commitment. Rather, these individuals will be engaged to make connections and help fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in learning more about the steering committee or helping in any capacity, please contact us.

Tyke Nollman Inducted to Hall of fame

Tyke NollmanWe congratulate one of the great Lions, J Tyke Nollman, on his post-humous induction into the USA Rugby Hall of Fame.

Tyke would have been very honored and humbled to be recognized. He was a great leader and served as Lions President for six years in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He was the Lowry Lion recipient in 1973.

In one of his last roles, Tyke led the Chicago Lions capital campaign to acquire the land where our new facility will sit. We look forward to this summer to the opening the J Tyke Nollman Field in his honor.

Jay “Tyke” Nollman was a catalyst for the development of rugby in the United States for nearly forty years. Nollman played football for the Northwestern University Wildcats from 1962-1966, prior to beginning his long rugby career with the Chicago Lions Rugby Football Club in 1969. He changed the game of rugby in the United States by establishing the inaugural USA Rugby Inter-Territorial Tournament (ITTs) and developed rugby’s national presence through the incorporation of business sponsorships and marketing strategies. Nollman was an active administrator in the rugby world and championed many philanthropic endeavors, including youth rugby in the State of Illinois. [source]