Ray Marrone’s introduction to rugby came in the spring of 1970 when he met a girl at a party. Unfortunately for Ray, she was the girlfriend of Pat Whalen. She suggested, with Pat, Pancho Elliston and Peter Maud, they form a rugby team. Ray had no idea what rugby was, but was convinced by the erotic and suggestive way she described the game, it had to be good!
They formed the New Mexico Rugby Club and traveled all over the Southwest. Once formed they gave commitment to play in Santa Fe for two years to help that city form a club. When they came back they split and formed the UNM & Aardvarks teams.
Ray played several positions; hooker, wing forward, scrum half and part time coach.
Ray Marrone and a group of Ruggers that resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico founded the Albuquerque Aardvarks in 1973. At the time the rugby team consisted of local residents and a majority of UNM students. Ray’s Aardvarks have known championship rugby from the beginning, starting with “Oly Cup.” There have been many Rio Grande Union Championships through the years. The club is the most successful rugby team in New Mexico and the Rio Grande Rugby Union and the Aardvarks plan to keep the tradition going into the future. Without Ray, the Aardvarks would not exist.