The University of Canberra Firebirds Gridiron club was formed in 1993 to compete in the inaugural season of the ACT Gridiron league. It was one of five clubs originally formed for the open-age competition.
In only their second season, the Firebirds claimed the club's first championship, finishing the regular season undefeated and capping it with a 28-0 victory over the Tidbinbilla Space Cadets in Capital Bowl II.
They club followed this with an 11-year championship drought, despite winning minor premierships in 1997, 2000 and 2004 and appearing in grand finals in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004.
The quest for a second title ended in 2005 with a thrilling 15-14 overtime win against the Astros.
The 2007 season brought a third minor premiership in four seasons and a 12-6 win in double overtime against the Tornadoes in Capital Bowl XV.The Firebirds would follow up in 2006 with their second perfect season, winning their third title with a 19-7 victory over the Tuggeranong Tornadoes in Capital Bowl XIV
The Firebirds matched the Astros record of four consecutive ACT Gridiron championships in 2008 by defeating the Tuggeranong Tornadoes 21-6 in Capital Bowl XVI.
After losing the semi-final to the Gladiators in 2009, the Firebirds hit back in 2010 with an 8-1 regular season and another minor premiership – the club’s seventh. A 28-11 win over the Gladiators in Capital Bowl XVIII gave the club a record sixth ACT Gridiron title, two more than the four won by the Astros and Tornadoes.
The Firebirds are four-time winners of the Charity Bowl, which is annually held in the first week of the season between the previous season's winners of the Capital Bowl and Charity Bowl. If one team holds both trophies, the opponent is the Capital Bowl runner-up.
During this time, the Junior Firebirds achieved great success, winning six championships. The 1999 and 2000 championships were as the University Rockets - a joint venture with the ACT Astros side then competing in the NSW Gridiron League.
The Juniors competition has been of great benefit to the club, with several juniors forming the cornerstone of the Firebirds team over the past decade. The 2008 Firebirds roster contained 11 players who had played for the Junior Firebirds at some stage. A total of 18 players have progressed through the junior ranks to take the field for the club as it won five of the last six Capital Bowl titles.
A number of Firebirds have gone on to represent the ACT and Australia at both a Junior and Senior level.
David Hicks, John Tolsher, Ben Collett, Garry Coates and Jason Ray were named in the Australian under 18s side following the 2006 National Junior Championships. James Tolsher was part of the Australian squad that played New Zealand in an IFAF Junior World Cup qualifier in Canberra in January 2009.Current Firebirds Captain Sam Babic represented Australia between 2001 and 2003, while Travis Ford and Garry Coates were key members of the Australian under 18s squad in 2004.