Six Decades of Lasting Change
Three men of vision – the late Fritz Grunebaum, Ed Riseborough, and Bob Lemire - established the United States Rugby Foundation in Boston in 1963. They believed the 100-year-old sport of rugby could take root in the United States through the creation of a foundation whose dedicated mission would be to grow and promote the sport at the grassroots level.
From its origins as the Bay State Rugby Foundation, the Foundation grew under Grunebaum’s guidance and the leadership of Dick Poulson of the Washington Rugby Club and Joe Walsh of the Boston and M.I.T. Rugby Clubs. Today, the Foundation continues to build on this bold vision through its programs and activities. Rugby is now played by thousands of men, women, masters, girls, and boys throughout the United States, with the greatest growth coming in the formation of new youth and high school rugby programs.
The Foundation preceded the formation of USA Rugby (the governing body of the sport in the U.S.) by twelve years. While the Foundation is completely independent of USA Rugby, its programs generally complement and support those of USA Rugby.
2022: A Year in Review
2022 was a year of many accomplishments for USRF and you can view our 2022 Year in Review to catch up on the details and gain some inspiration on how you can impact the Foundation in 2023. With your continued support, the Foundation will reach new heights!VIEW YEAR IN REVIEW
We know it’s important to you that your donation is being used effectively. It’s important to us, too.
Leading The Foundation
Brian Vizard, former captain of the United States National Team, has been the Foundation’s President for the past 18 years. Brian heads up a remarkable group of Directors and Governors whose credentials include: 14 Former US Eagles, including five past Eagle Captains, 3 Past Presidents of USA Rugby and several past USAR Founders & Board Members, as well as the past Presidents of many of the most successful rugby clubs in America, 3 Former Eagles Head Coaches and top-level coaches from club, college, high school, and youth rugby teams, and a past Chairman of the USA Rugby’s Medical Committee and a former team physician of the USA Men’s National Team.Brian’s story
Jon Hinkin was most recently the Executive Director of the San Diego Parks Foundation and now looks to bring his sports, business and non-profit experience to the US Rugby Foundation as its first Chief Operating Officer. Hinkin was a member of the USA 7’s Rugby team for nearly a decade in the ’90s, serving as the team’s captain from 1997-1998. He played in the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1993 and was a reserve on the 1997 World Cup Sevens team. From 2006-2019, Hinkin also served as Vice President of Competitions and Tournament Director for United World Sports, which included events such as; USA 7’s, Women’s International Rugby 7’s, Varsity Cup, Silicon Valley Sevens, Collegiate Rugby Championship and Las Vegas Soccer Challenge. Hinkin has nearly three decades of experience in building and managing sales and marketing, product support, customer support teams, and processes for a variety of companies.Brian’s story
Board of Directors
Brian leads a remarkable group of Directors and Governors, which includes 14 former US Eagles, five past Eagle Captains, three past Presidents of USA Rugby, several USAR Founders and former Board Members, as well as past Presidents of many of the most successful rugby clubs in America, three former Eagles head coaches, top-level coaches from club, college, high school and youth rugby teams, a past Chairman of the USAR’s Medical Committee and a former team physician of the USA Men’s Eagles.
Our Directors volunteer their time to support the Foundation and, collectively, have a broad background in business, law, and academia. While the current roster of Foundation Directors is notable, we continue to invite additional Directors who can help us accomplish our mission.
Board of Governors
Assisting the US Rugby Foundation Board of Directors are our Board of Governors. Our Governors are from around the country, act as our advisors and a sounding board, and work hard to carry and spread the mission of the Foundation and help us raise funds.
Like our Directors, our Governors have distinguished rugby careers, and, collectively, have a broad background in business, law, and academia. While the current roster of Foundation Governors is notable, we continue to invite additional Governors to broaden our geographic coverage of the country.
Our State Ambassadors are selected to represent a State or region where they act as an on-the-ground interface with state and local organizations in their area. They are selected on the basis of their knowledge and involvement in local youth and high school rugby programs. We work closely with them to identify and develop promising grant opportunities in their area.
Interested in Becoming a Governor or State Ambassador?
Interested in becoming a Governor or State Ambassador? While our current roster of Governors and Ambassadors is notable, we continue to seek additional Governors and Ambassadors to broaden our geographic coverage of the country. If you have an interest and commitment and would like to make a difference in helping us grow grassroots rugby in America, please let us know by completing our application.Apply Now