Mike Bolan - Director
Mike Bolan was a law student at Loyola University in Chicago in 1963 when a fellow student, a South African playing hooker for the City of Chicago Rugby Football Club asked Bolan if he would be interested in playing rugby. Bolan was a graduate of the University of Colorado where he was a scholarship football player but there was no rugby program. As a guard on offense and a linebacker on defense, Bolan's transition to prop was a natural evolvement. Bolan and Chicago Lions Rugby Club Founder, Dick Smith, played their first game of rugby together against the University of Chicago in the fall of 1964.
In the spring of 1965, Smith created the successor of the City of Chicago team calling it the Chicago Lions and Mike Bolan was one of its first two props. This team went on to win the Midwest Championship for the first time in the spring of 1966 and Mike Bolan was named to the first All-Midwest team.
The demands of a law and judicial career brought an early retirement from the Chicago Lions active playing roster but Bolan, always an active member of the Lions, has played rugby as an "Old Boy" or on the third side during the past five decades. This longevity was duly noted in the Rugby News. Bolan is listed on the Chicago Lions Certificate of Appreciation as a member of the "Team of the 1960s" and as one of the players who has made a significant contribution to the team and the advancement of rugby.
The advancement of rugby throughout the United States and throughout the interscholastic and recreational sports arena is a strong motivation for Mike Bolan. Because rugby is a team sport and a contact sport played internationally, it possesses unique qualities running to the benefit of players, fans and nations alike. Rugby is an active communication of values common to mankind all over the globe. The promotion of rugby from the grass roots of schools through to the club levels and ultimately international competition is his continuing objective.