Ed Schram, Sr.
Ed Schram was born Thanksgiving Day in 1941 in Manilla, Iowa to Charles and Loretta Schram. He was first introduced to the sport of rugby in 1966 at Harvard Business School by two classmates, who were members of the Harvard Business School team. Schram was hooked and joined the team at the next practice and by the end of the fall season, he had earned his spot on the wing with the Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club 1st 15. Near the end of the 1966 season, Ed was named to a New England Collegiate Select Side that played and defeated the touring English side Rosslyn Park.
Upon graduation, Schram and his family moved back to their home state of Iowa, where he had accepted a job with R.G. Dickinson & Co. Investment Bankers. Ed was surprised to learn that a rugby team had been started by four Des Moines men who were each the son of prominent Des Moines families. The Des Moines RFC consisted of approximately 25 players and an experienced rugby coach, an Irishman, Dr. David Robinson, a professor at Drake University. Much to Schram’s surprise, the team was in the process of electing its club president. Ed ran and was elected and assumed that role until 1984, when the Schram family moved to Santa Barbara, California.
As president of DMRFC in 1980, Schram purchased a small farmstead in West Des Moines and set out to build a rugby facility. The club raised $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in gratis labor in materials toward the facility. The facility yielded two regulation rugby fields, a practice field, public viewing areas, restrooms, locker rooms, and a large display of wall-hung framed International rugby jerseys. The addition of the facility aided the club in recruiting such players like Eagle Tom Altemeier, WRFU player Vic Clark, and Iowa State RFU player David Wilson.
Schram was heavily involved in the rugby community, serving as co-captain and assistant coach for the Western RFU 1982-1984 and later co-captaining the Mustangs in the National Trials. In 1985, Schram was the acting team manager and took a U.S.A. development team to New Zealand. From 1986-1991, he was appointed Chairman of the National Team Selectors Selection Committee. Most notably, he was appointed National Team Manager in 1988 and USARFU Rugby World Cup Team Manager to England in 1991.
As National Team Manager during a span of five years, Ed Schram managed 33 U.S.A. International Test Matches. He managed USA National Teams that would travel to all of the world’s rugby playing continents, with the exception of Africa. Schram was an original member of the U.S.A. RFU National Technical Panel and the National Coaching and Team Development Committee, contributing to the selection and coaching of both the Territorial and National Representative teams and their coaches. Ed’s legacy lives on through the continued success of the U.S.A. Men’s Eagles.