Brian Lemay (aka “Tuber,” “Albino Rhino”, “The Juggernaut”) was born and raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota where he played soccer, baseball, ice hockey, and gridiron football and graduated in 2001 prior to in-processing at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) a few weeks a later. He was recruited to play linebacker under head coach Fischer DeBerry and during his freshman year (CS-17) he played on the JV football team. After being moved to nose-guard and eventually offensive center during spring ball, he dislocated his wrist while attempting to power clean 395lbs and underwent wrist surgery. In the fall, Brian entered CS-23 and played much of the football season with a cast/club on his arm. During the spring semester of his sophomore year, he decided that blocking was not for him and hung up the football pads. After a mere week of sitting in his Vandenberg Hall room contemplating what to do with his extra time, he was persuaded by many other “ex-ballers” to come down to rugby practice. Brian’s first rugby practice was in 5-inches of snow under coach Rob Holder. He finished practice with numb, bloody hands, and a love for the sport of rugby that he still has today. Having played linebacker and fullback in high school football, and weighing in at 255 lbs, he was a perfect fit for the tight-head prop position. During his first semester of rugby, Brian traveled to San Antonio, Texas for a C-side tournament in which he scored his first try. That spring, the Zoomies won the National Championship. For his junior season, Brian was promoted to A-side where he served alongside Joe Riedesel and Mike Hobson in one of the best front rows the Zoomies have ever seen. Surprising to some, Brian also kicked for touch. The highlight of his kicking career came at Aspen Ruggerfest when he found touch at the Gentlemen of Aspen’s 5m line from his own 5m line. Although the Zoomies were not able to secure another National Championship during the remainder of Brian’s tenure, they did demoralize many of their opponents. In fact, they once outscored the University of Arizona by over 100 points during a Saturday morning match of a Spring Break trip to Arizona.
After majoring in Operations Research and becoming a distinguished graduate from USAFA, Brian was named to the Collegiate All-American Rugby Team and toured in New Zealand with the team. For his first Air Force assignment, Brian was stationed at Hansom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, in the Air Force Research Laboratory. While living in Boston, he played in the Men’s Rugby Super League for the Boston Irish Wolfhounds. While playing for the Wolfhounds, Brian was selected to play in the North American Four (NA4) tournament and played for the U.S. Hawks in the four-team tournament involving two American and two Canadian teams.
Brian trained with the U.S.A. Eagles in preparation for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France and was selected as an alternate for the world cup squad—unfortunately for him, he never got called up. In 2008, Brian continued training with the Eagles and played in matches against Munster in Hartford, Connecticut and against ASM Clermont Auvergne in Charleston, South Carolina. Brian earned his only two caps with the Eagles in November of 2008 during a two-game series against Japan with the matches occurring in Nagoya and Tokyo.
Following his assignment to Hansom AFB, Brian was sponsored to earn a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After meeting his wife in a Decision Analysis class and earning a degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering, he returned to USAFA as an assistant professor in the Department of Management. There, he taught and course directed numerous classes. Due to time commitments, he was unable to continue training with the Eagles in preparation for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. Instead, Brian served as an assistant head coach and forwards coach for the Zoomies.
After completing a four-year tour at USAFA, Brian returned to the University of Michigan to earn a Doctorate degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering. Upon completing his degree, he will be stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, where he will serve as an analyst within headquarters for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Following his assignment there, he expects to return to USAFA as a professor in the Department of Management.
During his rugby career, Brian has also played for and captained the U.S. Air Force Men’s rugby team numerous times, winning a total of five Armed Forces Rugby Championships. His USAF rugby debut occurred shortly after his 2005 graduation when he joined up with the team to play in the annual Saranac Lake Rugby Tournament near Lake Placid, New York. He also toured in Australia with the All-Armed Forces Rugby All-Star Team. Currently, Brian is temporarily retired from playing rugby, but may return to the pitch for a few matches in the future.