Team History

The Hurricanes formed in 1993 under the guidance of Matt Coppinger and Jez Brown. The team played in the British Collegiate American Football League for three years with mixed fortune other than Coppinger's outstanding achievement of being named League MVP 1996. But everything changed in 1997 when ex-Cambridge Python's head coach, Beau Riffenberg and the widely experienced Jim Messenger came to the team for what became the start of a dynasty. Assembling an impressive collection of talented coaches and players, the Hurricanes stormed through the 1997/98 season undefeated and were crowned national champions after a 17-6 defeat of the Leeds Celtics at Saffron Lane Stadium Leicester. Hurricanes lineman, Huw Stacey was named as League MVP for 1998/99.

In the next two seasons, the Hurricanes retained their national title with defeats of the Loughborough Aces (7-3) and the Leicester Lemmings (23-6). This three-in-a-row of national championships is known as The Three-peat and the Hurricanes remain the only team to have achieved this in the history of British university American football. Hurricanes all-rounder, Tony Groden, was named Bowl and League MVP in 2000.

2001 and 2002 saw the Hurricanes again win the Eastern Division but on both occasions were defeated in the play-offs by the Oxford University Cavaliers. In 2003 the Hurricanes swept all before them in the south and reached the national final again, but were defeated in a thrilling game with the victors, Stirling Clansmen, manning a last gasp goal-line stand to deny the Hurricanes their fourth national title.

In 2004 the Hurricanes again proved unstoppable in the regular season and the play-off on their route back to the national championship game. This time they were not to be denied and defeated the Staffordshire Stallions 20-6 to lift a fourth national title for the University of Hertfordshire.

2005 to 2011 the Hurricanes continued their impressive domination of the Eastern Division, and later BUAFL South Eastern Conference, making the play-offs every year. Reaching four Semi-finals and one Quarter-final in those seven years highlights the Hurricanes consistent high performance. These were the years of the dominance of the Southampton Stags and Birmingham Lions who always seemed to come-out winners in the key play-off game against the Hurricanes, including the amazing 2011 semi-final. The Hurricanes, trailing 29-7 at half time staged an incredible twenty-nine point comeback to lead the game 36-35 with just four minutes to play. But the Lions managed one last score to run-out winners 42-36.

On 21st April 2012 the Hurricanes faced their long-time and greatest rivals, the Birmingham Lions, at South Leeds Stadium in what was surely the most eagerly awaited championship game ever. The two teams, regular opponents in the quarter and semi-finals, had never met in the final. Coming in to the game the Lions were the favourites having reached the last three title games, winning two of them. After a slow start, which saw Birmingham take the early lead, the Hurricanes exploded in the second quarter to lead 18-13 at half time. Lining-up for the second-half, all seemed in the balance, but the Hurricanes forced a fumble from the Lions on the restart and converted this possession to a touchdown. From then, Hertfordshire was always in control and the Hurricanes eventually triumphed 37-19 to lift the trophy and become the most successful British university team ever by gaining a fifth national title. Hertfordshire's quarterback, Joe Thompson received the Bowl and League MVP award to become the Hurricanes fourth all-league most valuable player.

Team Honours

British Collegiate American Football League:

1997/1998 - Eastern Div Winners, Southern Conference Winners, National Champions
1998/1999 - Eastern Div Winners, Southern Conference Winners, National Champions
1999/2000 - Eastern Div Winners, Southern Conference Winners, National Champions
2000/2001 - Eastern Division Winners
2001/2002 - Eastern Division Runners-up
2002/2003 - Eastern Div Winners, Southern Conference Winners, National Runners-up
2003/2004 - Eastern Div Winners, Southern Conference Winners, National Champions
2004/2005 - Eastern Div Winners, National Semi-finalists
2005/2006 - Eastern Division Winners
2006/2007 - Eastern Division Runners-up

British Universities American Football League:

2007/2008 - South Eastern Conference Winners, National Semi-finalists
2008/2009 - South Eastern Conference Runners-up
2009/2010 - South Eastern Conference Winners, National Semi-finalists
2010/2011 - South Eastern Conference Winners, National Semi-finalists
2011/2012 - South Eastern Conference Winners, National Champions
2012/2013 - South Eastern Conference Winners, National Runners-up

League MVPs

1995/1996 - Matt Coppinger
1998/1999 - Huw Stacey
1999/2000 - Tony Groden
2011/2012 - Joe Thompson


2004 National Championship

2003/2004 National Championship Game -
Hertfordshire Hurricanes defeat 
Staffordshire Stallions 20-6


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