Annual Keith Brown Golf Outing 2019 – July 12

Annual Keith Brown Golf Outing 2019 – July 12

Keith and Lisa Brown

Keith and Lisa Brown

The date has been set for 2019:

  • Friday, July 12th
  • Old Orchard Country Club, 700 W Rand Rd, Mt Prospect, IL 60056

The President’s Cup Golf Outing is named in memory of past Chicago Lions Rugby President Keith Brown and is held on a Friday afternoon in the summer. This event brings together current and past Chicago Lions and their supporters in a fun afternoon of golf.

  • Registration: 12:00 pm
  • Shotgun start: 1:30 pm
  • Open bar: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Dinner and Awards: 7:00 – 8:00 pm

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.

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 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 8-14yr olds and will run from Monday, August 5th through to Friday, August 9th, 2019. The camp will start at 9am (drop off will open at 8.30am) and will end at 5pm each day. 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 the July, 10th @ 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.

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]

Lions Awards Banquet 2019

Lions Awards Banquet 2019

The Lions celebrated our 55th Anniversary last Saturday night, February 23rd with over 120 players, alumni and supporters in attendance. We honored our past, celebrated our present and we look forward to our future. Tony Rio was awarded the prestigious Lowry Lion (see full recipient list).

Thank you Tony for your dedication to the Lions.

We would like to thank our team sponsors – Athletico and Mark Kaufman, Fresh Wave and CPH. We would like to thank So-G, which is Tony Rio and Bo Gray, for sponsoring the cocktail hour. Larry Zeno and Jim Kearney for each sponsoring half a players table and Pat Bolger for sponsoring some of the high school players.

We had five past presidents, six past captains, and eight Lowry Lions in attendance as well as numerous alumni who have donated to the Lions for Hope Complex and the Lions Den recurring donation program.

2019 banquet women

We celebrated our teams’ successes. Last spring, our men’s D1 team made it to the Elite 8, they won their division in the Midwest in the fall and participated in a tightly fought game in the first ever Elite Cup. Our second team moved up to D2 and we increased the size of our depth chart.

On the women’s side, our 7’s team made it to Nationals and we began our women’s 15’s team this past fall. The women were like the original Lions 55 years ago where they had a dream of building their own team. They took a leap of faith and joined us. 14 women played in our first game up in Minneapolis and won.

With the hiring of Andy Rose as Director of youth rugby almost a year ago, we began our youth program. We fielded our first sevens side and hosted our first youth 7’s tournament. In the fall, we fielded our first ever Lions high school team and Andy has made inroads in some of the local schools.

We recognized all our coaches, our Athletico staff, Dr. Levin, and all our volunteers who have all contributed to the success of the Chicago Lions. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

Lastly, we have begun construction on our first field which we project to be ready by June. We still need some funds to complete this phase. Once this field is built, we will begin the major capital campaign for the building and second field

Congratulations to the 2018 Chicago Lions Player award winners!

  • 15s Player of the Year: Men: Andy Rose / Women: Brittany O’Dell
  • 15s New Lion: Men: Joe Van Zyl / Women: Rachel Grecky
  • 15s Most Improved: Men: Jeffery Steele / Women: Jennifer Kelliher
  • 15s Coaches Award: Men: Frikkie DeBeer / Women: Kelley Hirt
  • Men’s 7s Player of the Year: Alex Dorrier
  • Women’s 7s Player of the Year: Meg Loomis
  • Lame Lions: Frikkie DeBeer and Susan Riggs