John "Doc" Kenyon

John "Doc" Kenyon, PhD
Founder, Coach, Moderator

John, "Doc" Kenyon, PhD was born and raised in Scotland where he graduated from the University of Edinburgh and played rugby. A full Professor of Clinical and Experimental Psychology, he was beloved by his students for his dry wit, humorous anecdotes and Scottish aphorisms. In the early fall of 1963 he partnered with Pete Fallon to form the Fairfield University Rugby Football Club.

"Doc" immediately took on the role of coach, determined to mold young men, most of whom played football in high school, into real ruggers. His greatest challenge was not the quality of his athletes nor was it their toughness or fitness; rather, it was their reticence to leave a football mentality behind to learn a new game. In those situations where his team failed to recognize space where a well-placed kick would have been more useful than a ruck or maul, he could be heard shrieking, "kick the bloody ball!" up and down the sideline. Early matches against Fordham and Harvard Business School proved great learning tools and Doc's ruggers were soon playing as if they had been at it for a lot longer than several weeks.

Doc's role as moderator was required by the University. He provided the mandatory "adult supervision" allowing the team to grow and prosper. The highlight of his first season was the club's performance in the New York Seven-A-Side Tournament in November. Thirty-nine teams from the East coast were invited; Doc was able to persuade the tournament organizers to allow his team of upstarts to participate against many more experienced sides. The FURFC Sevens side, led by Doug Ciacci and Al Sullivan, wowed the crowds at Van Cortlandt Park, winning all of their matches and earning a spot in the finals against powerful Old Blue. Although the game was lost 0-11, Fairfield's ruggers had arrived in only one season thanks to a great degree to the leadership, tutelage and spirt of their founder, coach and moderator, Doc Kenyon.