History of the Red Bombers
Spirit of the UNB Red Bombers 1949-2019
The UNB Red Bombers first took to the field as a Club team in 1949. They quickly grew to define Fall on the UNB Campus and across Fredericton. The Red Bombers brought everyone together from across faculties and our town for one purpose, football.
The team didn’t disappoint UNB and their fans. 1958 and 1959 saw the Red Bombers win the Maritime Intercollegiate Football League Championships.
By 1969 Red Bombers players were regularly being named to the All-Canadian Team. ‘The Bombers’ went undefeated in 1969 and 1970, winning the Atlantic Intercollgiate Atheltic Association [currently AUS] Championships both years. During the 1970’s the Red Bombers put several players into the CFL.
Then in 1980 it all abruptly came to an end, when the financial commitment and budget constraints saw football cut at UNB. The same thing had happened a couple of years earlier at Dalhousie University. Several attempts to bring the Red Bombers back failed until 2009.
Sept. 26, 2009
The UNB Red Bombers’ Return to Campus
Nowadays, university sport is played in a different cultural, media, and economic environment than in the years of the team’s earlier eras. While the number of universities with USport level Football teams was decreasing, high school football teams had increased in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Only 27 of Canada’s 90 universities still have football teams at USport level.
This unfortunate new reality for college football had led to disappointment for high school football players on their way to university with dreams of playing for their Alma Mater. 95% of high school players are never invited to a USport training camp.
The Atlantic Football League (AFL), UNB, UNBSJ, Dalhousie University, and Holland College set out to change that reality by relaunching Club Football on campus. The AFL remains the only university club football league in Canada. The AFL may well be the model for the 60 universities across Canada who lost their football teams.
Atlantic Football League 2009 – 2019
Over the past 10 years the UNB Red Bombers have picked up where they left off by delivering exciting college football to their fans. The UNB Red Bombers have won three AFL Championships and played in the AFL Championship game five times.
The UNB Red Bombers have given players from across the country the opportunity to play university football; and for many in their hometown. These players have benefited from expert coaching and training while still maintaining their USport eligibility. The UNB Red Bombers have sent many players on to play USport football.
In addition to these High School recruits, nearly three dozen USport football players (from teams like the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Waterloo, St Mary’s, Acadia, St.FX and Mt. A.) have come to UNB to complete their studies and play football for the UNB Red Bombers over the past 10 seasons.
The CFL has already invited five AFL players to their scouting combines including from the Red Bombers, so it is only a matter of time until a UNB Red Bomber once again goes to a CFL Training Camp.
High School football players setting off to university can still dream of playing for their Alma Mater. Sure, Coach Vince Sturgeon invites players he scouts from the High School ranks; but as it has been since 1949, graduating High School football players coming to UNB don’t have to be invited to come to a UNB Red Bombers training camp. They need only have the will to show up, the love for the game, and the grit to be a UNB Red Bomber.
UNB Red Bombers Driving for the Future
2018 UNB Homecoming Game
UNB Athletics has embarked on a bold rebranding. The Reds logo [pictured above] has been extended to be the symbol of all UNB Teams, both Varsity and Club. We are still the UNB Red Bombers, but the REDS symbol unites all of us as UNB athletes.
UNB Athletes’ crest on players-only SWAG
Red Bombers Football is an active part of the entire football community in the Capital Region. Over the past 10 years the UNB Red Bombers have raised nearly $50,000 for Fredericton’s Kin Clubs, and Women’s Football, as well as provided skills-camps for young football players.
Our goal is not just to produce a Saturday afternoon football game, but rather to create a Saturday “Event” for the whole family that includes the game, half-time events, Kick, Punt, and Pass contests, music, lively play by play, etc. Tickets are free to students and kids, and adult admission prices are kept to $5. A family of 4 can enjoy 3 hours of college football, treat everyone to burgers or hotdogs, and refreshments, all for under $10 per person.
Every year, Red Bomber Alumni and Red Bomber Fans answer the call to ensure football is permanent at UNB and that the traditions of the UNB Red Bombers 1949 – 2019 are never forgotten. The Red Bomber 100 Roster is where Red Bomber alumni and their fans pool their contributions to The Red Bombers Football Club in an annual effort to equal a total of 100 Player’s Fees. Donations can be made on a one-time basis or you can set up recurring monthly gift. Any level of support is welcome, for example, a monthly gift of $10.00 (the equivalent of a large coffee/week), becomes an annual contribution of $120.00. Your donations are also eligible for a tax receipt from UNB.
If you are interested in joining our Red Bombers 100 Roster, simply visit the below secure website:
*When making your gift please select Red Bombers Football Club (96A05) from the drop-down list.