USRF Accepting 2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Applications
San Diego, CA (May 11, 2011) - Last fall, the USRF awarded eight $1,000 Kevin Higgins College Scholarships to deserving high school seniors who went on to play rugby in college. This year, the USRF will once again provide up to 10 Higgins Scholarships. These independent scholarships are open to all graduating high school rugby players in the US who will be pursuing their rugby career while continuing their education at the collegiate level.
A dashing number 13 who could play a rugged 12 and also outpace most on the wing, "Higgy" was a three-time Collegiate All-American at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Kevin was still a student when he made the first of 28 test match appearances against Japan in 1985. He represented the United States at the first two Rugby World Cups, in 1987 (Australia) and 1991 (England), and captained the team three times, a testament to his overall skill and leadership. Kevin also earned 16 'caps' with the USA 7s team, making three trips to the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens Tournament.
Kevin's skills were recognized internationally. He was selected to play for the Barbarians, an international all-star team, on their annual Easter Tour. Higgy was also selected for the Teljoy World XV, teaming with the likes of Alan and Gary Whetton, Grant Fox, Bernie Fraser, Stan Pilecki, Buck Shelford and fellow American, Mike Purcell. On the domestic scene, Kevin helped OMBAC to three national club championships.
Kevin touched the lives of his teammates, friends and opponents in so many ways, that he was as cherished off the field as he was on. Those who had the honor of playing alongside him, against him, touring with him and working with him still smile as classic Higgy stories are shared. He lifted the spirits and work ethic of every squad he joined. He played with a passion second to none. Such zest for the game sadly led to frequent concussions, prematurely ending his playing career and perhaps contributing to his untimely passing in 1996.
"The Rugby Foundation is proud to keep Higgy's legacy alive through the Higgins Scholarship Program," said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard, a former teammate of Higgins. "We have received over 70 applications from worthy candidates in the first three years of the program and expect another strong list of candidates this year. We hope we'll continue to receive financial support for the Higgins Scholarship Fund from those who knew and loved Kevin and from the rugby community at large who admired his commitment and contributions to the game."
Read more about last year's Kevin Higgins' Scholarship recipients: Taylor Johnson, Pat Coleman, Couryn Beleck, Mary Jo Reddy, Isiah Willis, Frank Viancourt, Ben Roach, and Eric Mallory.