Ed Todd was an innovating and inspiring rugby referee and administrator. Beloved by many for his leadership and love for the game, he built the very foundation that USA Rugby and Northern California Rugby Referee Societies stand on today.
Ed played rugby for the University of Southern California from 1966 to 1970. During his four-year tenure, he served as varsity rugby scrum half and team captain. The 1967 season was a blockbuster for the Trojans as they amassed three championships: crowned Monterey Tournament Champions, League Champions, and an AAWU Conference Championship. Ed was named Most Valuable Player the following season in 1968. Upon graduating from USC, he continued his athletic and academic education at the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. While in law school, he founded the school’s rugby club and served as player coach.
After completing his playing career, Ed continued to make his mark on the game by becoming an active referee and administrator. Ed would become an A Panel referee from 1996-1998 in the Northern California region. He would advance at multiple levels serving as a B-3 to A-2 referee throughout the United States and beyond. Some of his most notable tournaments and matches include the Canada Cup in 1996 and as head referee for Wales vs. USA South in 1997.
He served as a referee administrator for USA Rugby and the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society for over 30 years. During his time as a referee administrator, he developed and educated thousands of referees. Ed’s vision helped initiate USA Rugby’s Disciplinary procedures and managed USA Rugby’s disciplinary proceedings for a number of years. He helped write the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society incorporation documents and was one of the four original signers. Ed published numerous videos, articles and papers, including “The Referee Coaching Manual,” which educated and set the standard for American referees.
From 2005 to 2014 Ed served as the USA Rugby Referee Development Manager and oversaw national referee standards and education. His referee IQ would lead him all across the globe amongst the best of the best, having attended the New Zealand Referee Manager Conference in 2005 and developing the Rugby World Cup referee objectives in 2007. He remained a dedicated USAR and IRB administrator and educator through 2019.
In addition to his referee responsibilities, Ed found time to coach at the youth level for Lamorinda Youth Rugby U19 and U15 teams from 2003 to 2005. He also served as the St. Mary’s College Team Manager from 2000 to 2004.
Ed undoubtedly laid the foundation for the present-day standard of refereeing. His impact has traveled to rugby pitches locally, nationally, and globally and his legacy will remain ingrained in American rugby for years to come.