USRF Announces the U.S. Rugby
Hall of Fame Class of 2015
San Diego, CA (March 10, 2015) - The United States Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 inductees into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame (www.usrugbyhalloffame.org).
12 members of the Class of 2015 were elected by the USRF Board of Trustees
after receiving recommendations from a Selection Committee composed of USRF
Directors and Trustees who examined and reviewed a record number of
nominations. Like those previously inducted, the Class of 2015 is comprised of
individuals who have made their mark in United States rugby. They will be
inducted at the USRF's Hall of Fame Dinner which will be held in conjunction
with an Eagles game and determined when the Eagles 2015 schedule is announced.
U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Class of 2015:
Billups, former U.S. international player and head coach, is completing his
16th season as coach at the University of California, whose Golden Bears have
won 10 national collegiate championships in 15s and two national 7s titles
since Billups joined the program in 2000. Billups was head coach of U.S.
National Team from 2001-2006, which included the 2003 Rugby World Cup; head
coach of the Collegiate All-American Team in 2001; and head coach of the U.S.
National Sevens teams at the 2005 World Games in Germany. As a player, Billups
made 44 international appearances on the U.S. National Team in 15s, captaining
the team for the 1998 season and playing at the 1999 Rugby World Cup; and 25
appearances as a player for the U.S. National Sevens team. He was a
professional player for London Harlequins and Pontypridd, Wales.
Burlingham played four years of college basketball at UC Irvine before starting
his lifetime of rugby involvement in 1974 with Irvine Coast RFC in Newport
Beach, CA. He won his first Eagles cap against the New Zealand All Blacks in
1980, one of the 14 caps he earned. He captained the Eagles nine times,
including during the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. Ed was named to the
North American Barbarian team for their tour South Africa in 1982. He was an
Assistant Coach of the 1991 U.S. Rugby World Cup team and has been on the
National Technical Panel. He has been President and head coach of Back Bay RFC
in his hometown of Newport Beach and involved in the formation of their
successful youth program.
Fraumann started playing rugby in the early 1970s while in law school after
four years of college basketball at the University of Michigan. He played his
club rugby with the Harvard Rugby Football Club, the Chicago Lions Rugby
Football Club and Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. Fraumann was a reserve for
the first USA Eagles game against Australia in Long Beach in January 1976. He played
#8 against France in the Eagles second game in June 1976 in Chicago. His two
tries against the French were the first tries scored by the Eagles in the
modern era. Bill played #8 in all six games of the Eagle's first international
tour to England in 1977, and was capped against an England XV at Twickenham in
the final game of the tour. In 2000, Bill was named to Rugby Magazine's
All-Time U.S.A. rugby team at #8. He was the first active duty service member
(U.S. Navy) to play on the Eagles.
Jervey began her Hall of Fame career when she played for the University of
South Carolina in1983. From there she played for Florida State University and
later, the Atlanta Harlequins, where, at 50 years old, she still continues to
play on their topside. Patty was a member of the 1991 USA Women's National Team
that won the Rugby World Cup. She went on to play in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and
2006 Rugby World Cups, the first woman to ever play in five RWCs. She earned 40
caps during her Eagles career. She scored an average of nearly a try a game as
she finished her test career with 38 tries and still holds the international
points record for the U.S. Women's National Team with 178 points.In November
2014, Patty was one of six women, the first class of women, to be inducted into
the International Rugby Hall of Fame by the International Rugby Board, now
known as World Rugby.
Lombard was introduced to rugby at Western Washington State College in 1969 and
won his first Eagles cap against Canada in 1977. Jeff won his second cap
against an England XV at Twickenham in the final game of the Eagle 1977 England
tour. In 1984, Jeff became the first U.S. Eagle player to manage the United
States National Team. In 1987, He was the manager of the Eagles team that
played in the inaugural Rugby World Cup. He served on the USA Rugby board of
directors from 1984-1987. He managed Team America (today known as the Classic
Eagles) for 20 years from 1988 to 2008. Jeff currently coaches the men's rugby
program at Western Washington University.
Morrison was an outstanding referee at every level and was chosen to referee a
number of international test matches as a USA Rugby International Referee
(1981-1990). He refereed the politically controversial test match between USA
and South Africa in 1981. Don has served as a match official performance
reviewer for USA Rugby (1990-present), the International Rugby Board
(1998-2007) and his local New England Rugby Union (1990-present). Don has also
served as chairman of USA Rugby's Referees and Laws Committee (1990-1998) and
as chairman of Evaluation subcommittee of the USA Rugby Referees and Laws
Committee (1990-2002). Don received the prestigious Denis Shanagher Award from
the Referee & Laws Committee in 2000. USA Rugby established the Morrison
Referee Development Fund in 2012.
Ording was an All-American guard for the University of Oregon football team in
1962. He also played rugby for the Ducks from 1960-62 and then went on to play
for the Olympic Club and the XO Rugby Club, where he played until 1982. Mickey
was selected to start at the tight-head prop against Australia in the United
States' first game of the modern era in Los Angeles on January 31, 1976. He
would go on to play in three of the next four Eagles matches, including against
an England XV on the 1977 Eagles tour to England. His last test was in a win
against Canada in Baltimore in 1978. His career also included the U.S. Cougars
tour of South Africa and Rhodesia in 1979.
Poulson played loose head prop and second row for the Washington Rugby Club
from 1966-1983, where he helped develop the club into one of the East's
powerhouses. He was a two-term club President and Match Secretary for
Washington and was the co-founder of the old boy's side, The Poltroons. Dick
founded the Washington's 7's and annual Cherry Blossom Tournaments, the
Baltimore-Washington Rugby Association and, later, the Potomac Rugby Union. He
also founded the Potomac Referees Society. He was a Director/Treasurer of The
Eastern Rugby Union and served on The ERU's Executive Committee. Dick was also
a Trustee and Chair of the United States Rugby Foundation for many years,
guiding and shaping its mission of supporting amateur rugby, youth programs and
referee certification programs.
Purcell began playing rugby for the Newport Beach Sharks while in junior
college in Huntington Beach, CA and then played for the Bay Area Touring Side
(BATS). Mike won his first United States Eagles' cap and scored his first international
try against the Welsh Centenary XV in Long Beach, CA in May of 1980. He played
on the first U.S. 7s team at the 1981 Hong Kong 7s Tournament and scored the
first ever try for the USA 7s at that historic event. At the inaugural 1987
Rugby World Cup, Mike scored the Eagle's first Rugby World Cup try in a match
against Japan. Mike also scored a try in his last international game in the
USA's final game against England at the 1987 World Cup. In 1986, along with
U.S. Eagle teammate Kevin Higgins, Mike was selected to play for a World XV
team in Johannesburg, South Africa and played against Transvaal at Ellis Park.
He scored a long range try in the first half of that game and the World XV were
victorious 24-17. Mike is currently the head coach at UC Davis.
Scholz received his introduction to the sport of rugby in 1913, when as a high
school senior enrolled in Santa Clara University's college preparatory program,
he became a member of the university's varsity rugby team which played two
matches against the touring New Zealand All Blacks. Rudy lettered in rugby,
baseball and basketball all four years at Santa Clara. He was a member of both
the 1920 and1924 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winning rugby teams. He coached San
Francisco's Olympic Club rugby team and played competitive rugby until the age
of 47. He made on-the-pitch cameo appearances at the Monterey Rugby Tournament
up to the age of 83.
Signes has coached rugby since 1974, and in that time has coached club, college
and high school rugby, men and women, boys and girls, 15s and 7s. He was the US
National Men's Sevens coach from 1987 to 1990, and its manager from 1991 to
1993. He was a member of the USA Rugby Board of Directors and in 1988 put in
charge of organizing sevens within the US. He formed the national women's
sevens program and was the first national women's sevens coach, serving from
1996 to 2005. Between 7s and 15s, men and women, club and All-Star, his teams
have won 14 national championships. In 1986, Emil founded Atlantis US Sevens Rugby.
Between 1986-2014 Atlantis teams -- men, women, boys, girls - fielded 219
squads at 148 tournaments in 31 different countries. Atlantis was one of the
first 7s clubs to regularly tour with co-ed sides, and Emil - by means of
initiating and organizing these tours, helped bring the men's and women's rugby
communities together. He has championed, helped to inaugurate, and developed,
international women's sevens. Through these efforts he has been credited with
being an integral part of setting the stage for rugby's entry into the
Olympics. Emil has coached more than 25 players that became US national level
coaches as well as several that became coaches of other national teams.
Watkins played rugby for San Diego State University, Old Mission Beach Athletic
Club and the Southern California XV. He was a Founding Director of the U.S.A.
Rugby Football Union and served as a Director of the USARFU from 1975-1991 and
as President from 1983-1987 and 1989-1991. He has managed the U.S. Eagles
against Canada, U.S.S.R., South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales and Hong
Kong. Bob is also past President of the Pacific Coast and Southern California
Rugby Football Unions. He served as the Chairman of the U.S. Rugby Super League
in its first five years of existence and is the current Chairman of the U.S.
to the 12 members of the Class of 2015 who are joining the 26 who have already
been inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame. Nominees not selected will be
re-submitted to selection committee next year.
year the Chairman's Award is being presented to Bob Latham. This award
recognizes and honors individuals who have had and continue to have a
significant and lasting impact on the sport of rugby in the United
States. Mr. Latham has served on the Board of Directors of USA Rugby
since 1994. From 2000-2004, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the
United States Olympic Committee. Mr. Latham is a member of the World Rugby
Council, the World Rugby Executive Committee and is Chairman of the World Rugby
Regulations Committee. From 2009-2013, he served as President of the North
America Caribbean Rugby Association. Mr. Latham began his rugby career at
Stanford, continued playing during law school and played for 13 years for the
Dallas Harlequins as well as for the Texas Select Side.
addition, the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame will present Lifetime Achievement Awards
to Ram Eddings and Nelson Spencer. The U. S. Rugby Foundation's Lifetime
Achievement Awards recognize and honor individuals who have dedicated their
life to the sport of rugby and whose service and commitment to rugby may have
has been involved with rugby for 40 years as a player, coach, referee and
administrator. He also founded the Grey Wolves, a team comprised of players of
color from across the nation to play in tournaments and interact with inner
city youth. Nelson is a true ambassador of the game having been developing
rugby for the past 45 years. He founded the Dallas Harlequins RFC and co-founded
the Texas Rugby Union, and founded, co-founded, and funded several other clubs,
among his many contributions to the sport.
of the Chairman's Award and U.S. Rugby Lifetime Achievement Award will have
their biographies and images housed in the Gallery of Honors section on the
U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame website (http://www.usrugbyhalloffame.org/).
The U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame and its Foundation
is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of
U.S. Rugby; supporting the development of the game by funding programs for
youth, high school and collegiate rugby; and individual player development