The Penn State Happy Valley Barbarians Men's Club was formed in 1994 by a mix of graduate students, Penn State faculty & staff and local residents. Neil Herlocher, Eric Ebert and Jeff Lutton were the main organizers, recruiting experienced and inexperienced players to form the club. The club traveled with PSU Men's Rugby, playing B sides of colleges and local men's teams until the team stabilized to go off and schedule their own games.
From 1994 until 1999, the club played in the Allegheny Rugby Union, playing clubs from Pittsburgh, Western PA and Ohio. In 1995 the club won the ARU Men's Title for Division 2 and advanced to the Midwest Elite 8, eventually losing to Kalamazoo. In 1999 the team switched to the Potomac Rugby Union, Men's Division Three, along with their brethren of PSU Men and Women's Rugby teams. In the first year the club was eligible for the playoffs, the year 2000, the Barbarians claimed 2nd place in the PRU in their division. In the spring of 2001, hosting the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union (MARFU), the Barbarians advanced to the championship game, losing to Reading 45-24.
In 2002, the Barbarians won the PRU Title and again advanced to the MARFU championships, but ended up finishing third. The club did not advance to the playoffs until 2004, but did so with great success. Wining the PRU title, the team advanced to the MARFU championships held in Newport News VA, and beat Harrisburg, Old Gaelic and Lehigh Valley to advance to the Men's Division Three National Championship Elite Eight in Reno, Nevada. Travelling to Reno with a strong team, the Barbarians then lost in the first game to eventual champion, Clinton Muddy River, Iowa in the last minute.
2005 was another successful year, again winning the PRU Title and then advancing and hosting the MARFU Championship. This time, the Barbarians beat Dickinson Law, Harrisburg and James River in three thrilling games to advance to Omaha for the National Championship again. Unfortunately the team lost to Pearl City, the eventual DIII champion in a match that was close until the final minutes. Pearl City went on to win the DII national champion ship in 2006 and advanced to the elite 8 of the DI national championship in 2007. In 2006 the team qualified for the playoffs again, but failed to match the success of 2005, losing in the first round to James River.
And for the first time in 8 years, the Babas qualified again for the play-offs in 2013, finishing 2nd of the PRU after a last-minute victory against the Washington Renegades - thanks to a 30 meters penalty kick. The first round of the playoffs will be at Reading, on April 20th.
Numerous PSU Alumni have put on the Baba jersey at one point, including Eagles Matt Wyatt, Kurt Shuman and key Super League and Division One players, Troy Bartley, Tim Ryland, Paul Sochocky, and Joe Pullara.
Several Barbarians play a key role in USA Rugby, including Pete Steinberg, former Women's Head Coach and Developmental Manager, as well as Don Ferrell, Head Coach of PSU Rugby and former assistant coach for the Under 19's. Other Barbarians coach the PSU Women's team, State College High School Men's and Women's and have helped other local clubs in the area.
The club remains the only Men's Rugby Club between Harrisburg and Greensburg PA. Members living in State College, Huntingdon, Hollidaysburg, Clearfield, Curwensville, Altoona and other communities in the area.
The team continues to be a competitive in the PRU, despite the distance they must travel for away matches.