David John Zucconi
Team: Special

David John Zucconi '55
Year Inducted:

David John Zucconi ’55, a man of creative leadership and inexhaustible energy, is the Father of Brown Rugby and a man who, in myriad ways, has helped to promote the cause of Brown athletics. The  Brown Rugby team, which Zucconi founded more than 20 years ago, has an overall winning percentage of .721 (212-110-5), the finest record in the history of American college Rugby. In addition to introducing the sport to the Brown campus, “Zuke” served at various times as coach, schedule maker, player (“the oldest living Rugby player in the world”), uniform designer and field liner. He led the team to California, England, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Florida, the Bahamas – and even Central Falls. For more than a decade Zucconi has run the National Alumni Schools Program, considered the finest in the nation. Through this program he has established contacts that are invaluable to Brown’s athletic coaches. Football Coach John Anderson is especially appreciative of the work Zucconi has done in this field. “When I came to Brown and started to recruit on a national scale, the groundwork and organization done by Dave enable me to make headway on my job much sooner than might otherwise have been the case.” When the call goes out, Zucconi is always there. A few years ago it was decided that the seats at the Brown Stadium needed painting. Hearing about this, Zucconi organized alumni and student volunteers and went to work. He took the idea of an Alumni Tours Program and gave it the special “Zucconi touch,” making it both more informative and more enjoyable (even his poems aren’t really that bad!) than any other college tours program now being run in this country. This fall Zucconi has taken on additional duties. He’s become the “Dandy Dave” of Brown football, an articulate color man who has brought a touch of class to the Brown games on radio through his intrinsic knowledge of the game, his ability to convey that knowledge to the listening audience in layman’s terms, and the good sense not to dominate the microphone. An excellent athlete in his college days, Zucconi was an offensive and defensive halfback on the 6-2-1 football team of 1954, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and later being selected to the Brown Team of the Decade. He also competed in baseball and track, made the Dean’s list, and was a Class Marshal. Although his cluttered office in Maddock Alumni Center is considered a “disaster area” by some, there is a constant beat to that office – and the beat spells B-R-O-W-N.