In 2004, three boys from Down Under, Pat “Vanilla Gorilla” Muller, Mick “Shirly” Coyne, and Rob “Zulu” Montanaro hatched a plan to bring Aussie Rules Football to the bayous of Louisiana. Or at least the fields and parks of Baton Rouge.
After selecting the moniker “Tigers”, the club quickly established itself as a hard-hitting, all round team. Unlike teams from larger cities, the number of American players is always few greater than the Australian contingent, and new players are always welcome.
Affiliated with the AFL’s Richmond Tigers (who generously donated uniforms after Hurricane Katrina), Baton Rouge has competed at the US Nationals most every season since the clubs inception, appearing in the Division 3 Grand Final in 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, Mickey Kleinhenz became the Tigers’ most highly decorated player by earning a spot with the American national team, the Revolution. Competing in the International Cup, an international tournament held in Australia every three years, Kleinhenz was nominated as one of the best-on-ground during the Revos’ match against Nauru.
The 2009 season saw young Jeffrey Phillips take over the coaching role from the talismanic Muller, as the big fella spent much of the 2008 season seeing his Aussie-infusion restaurant, Dingo’s, take off, with Dingo’s then becoming the unofficial headquarters for the Tigers. Unfortunately, Dingo’s and Muller have since needed to move on but there are always hopes of having him return to the field as the highly mobile power forward he was in the past. Since 2008 Rob Montanaro has taken over as El’ Presedente and with the new team bus decked out for road trips and other ‘adventures’ including Mardi Gras, Rob has lead the team through many interesting and exciting home and away games and other exploits.
The 2011 season saw the addition of a Metro League and new leadership in the form of two Aussies, Nathan Lane and the notorious Neil Stebbing. Combining with Houston at Nationals, the Tigers reached the Division 4 semifinals and eventually finished third.
The 2012 season saw the return of Tyler Smith to the head coaching role along with a motivated and solidified leadership group.