This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the US Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with long-time player, referee, and administrator, Steve Cohen. Steve was inducted into the US Rugby Hall of Fame on Friday, July 15, 2022 in Glendale, Colorado.
After growing up in the lower east side of NYC in Manhattan, Steve moved to Long Island City in Queens when he was about 9 years old. He played classic “city sports” while growing up, such as punchball, stickball, handball, and basketball. Steve was working as an engineering trainee at General Electric when he read a newsletter about rugby practice at a park. He showed up just to see what it was.
After moving to Michigan for reasons related to his engineering career, he contacted the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to get involved with their rugby club. He played for the UofM rugby club but transitioned into being a referee shortly thereafter. Some of Steve’s greatest accomplishments include helping start the University of Michigan women’s rugby team, working on the Collegiate Committee for USA Rugby, and creating NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization), which is now the NCR (National Collegiate Rugby).
0:31 – Brian introduces Steve Cohen, long-time rugby referee and administrator.
1:06 – Can you tell us about where you grew up and the sports you played as a kid?
2:39 – How did you get involved in rugby?
4:09 – How did you get into refereeing?
5:06 – What brought you to Michigan and what were some of your fondest memories from your time there?
7:35 – What other rugby clubs did you play for besides Michigan?
8:55 – Is there a tale or two that stands out to you from your time with the MARS team?
11:44 – Tell us about some of the publications you’ve written about trying to make the game safer.
13:12 – You were on USA Rugby’s collegiate committee from 1997 to 2004. What was your role within this committee?
17:43 – Tell us about the growth you saw within collegiate teams.
19:50 – Can you tell us about the transformation from NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization) to NCR (National Collegiate Rugby)?
23:40 – What are some accomplishments that have had a lasting effect over the past 50+ years of your rugby career?
26:17 – What is one piece of advice you could give to an aspiring rugby administrator or referee?
27:39 – What does it mean to be selected for the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame?
In this episode of the With You! Rugby Podcast, we heard from Steve Cohen, renowned rugby referee and administrator. Steve’s rugby career stretches over 50 years. In addition to playing, refereeing, and administrating, Steve has written publications on making rugby safer, created organizations like NSCRO (now NCR), and given new life to collegiate teams. These are only a few of the many accomplishments that have earned Steve a spot in the US Rugby Hall of Fame.