Miles “Doc” Hudson
Hudson was born November 15, 1909 in New Zealand. At age 19 he traveled to the United States to attend the University of California Berkeley. He met his wife, Ladene, while at Berkeley and they were married in 1937. Upon graduation, he attended dental school in San Francisco. It was at this time that Hudson got involved with Cal Rugby, first as a player, and then as their freshman coach.
He went on to be the head coach of the Cal Golden Bears for 36 seasons, 1938-1974. His record was unprecedented and remains unrivaled, with 339 wins, 84 losses and 23 ties. Hudson is the ‘winningest’ rugby coach in the history of US rugby.
In addition to competing against domestic clubs and collegiate teams, Hudson led the bears to compete against some of the greatest international competition. This included such rugby powerhouses as the New Zealand All Blacks, the Australian Wallabies and the Oxford-Cambridge combined team.
During his tenure as head coach, Hudson led the Bears on a number of international tours. The team he assembled for the 1965 tour to Australia and New Zealand is thought to be the greatest Cal rugby team to ever hit the pitch. Their most notable games included a 25-14 victory over Auckland University and an 8-8 draw against Queensland. The Bears ended the tour with a record of 5-2-2.
When reflecting back on Hudson, Jack Clark, current Cal and US National Team coach said, “Doc is one of the forefathers of the sport of rugby in this country…He is one of just a small handful of people who made the sport popular in this country, and his record of success is absolutely unprecedented.”
Outside of coaching, Hudson was also a successful Bay Area dentist. During his 62 year marriage he lived in Oakland and went on to settle down just through the Berkeley hills, in Lafayette, CA. He and wife Ladene had four children, Bob, Doug, Ron and Shelly, and they went on to have a number of grandchildren. Hudson passed away in late 1999.
Today you will be reminded of Hudson every time you attend a Cal rugby home game. Standing on Witter Field is the Doc Hudson Memorial Field House. The building honors Hudson as arguably the greatest rugby coach in US history.