The United States Rugby Hall of Fame has announced its eight-member 2014 induction class. Over 30 applications were submitted, and the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Selection Committee, comprised of the eight United States Rugby Foundation Trustees, has chosen Anne Barry, Jack Clark, Dick Donelli, Terry Fleener, Jay Hanson, Ron Mayes, Tom Selfridge and Kevin Swords as the virtual Hall’s induction class.
The 2014 class is comprised of individuals who’ve made their mark on American rugby as players, coaches and administrators, with some inductees standing out in all three areas.
Like the 2013 class, the 2014 group will be honored at the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Dinner at the Inn at the Ballpark in Houston, Texas on Saturday, June 7, 2014 prior to the USA vs. Scotland match.
These eight new members join the 18 who have already been inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame for their contributions to the sport in the United States. Those 2013 nominees who were not voted in by the Selection Committee will be included in future U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame selection processes. The nomination criteria and selection procedures for future U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame nominees can be found on the USRF website.
Anne Barry has served on the Minnesota Youth Rugby Board for the last 10 years and was the President of the Minnesota Rugby Union for 22 years. She served USA Rugby as its president from 1998-2002 and as treasurer from 1990-1998, and continued on the USA Rugby Board until 2005. Barry was a member of the Midwest Rugby Union Board of Directors from 1990-2005. She continues to serve the Minnesota rugby community as a board member of the Minnesota Rugby Union. Barry played rugby with the Twin Cities Amazons and the Midwest Women’s Rugby team. She continues to serve as the General Manager for the Twin Cities Amazons as well as a member of the Governing Council for the Women’s Premier League.
Jack Clark has been the head coach at Cal since 1984, leading the Golden Bears to 22 National Collegiate Championship titles in 15s and the team’s first 7s title at the 2013 Collegiate Rugby Championship. Clark, who played rugby and football at Cal and had post-collegiate rugby campaigns as a player for the national championship Old Blues RFC, made two international appearances on the U.S. National Team. He was named MVP at the 1979 U.S. National Team Trials and Territorial Championships and a starting lock on the World Overseas XV team that played the Welsh National Team at Cardiff Arms Park in 1980. After coaching the U.S. Collegiate All-Americans from 1985-1992, Clark served as head coach of the U.S. National Team from 1993-1999, winning a record 16 international test matches during that span. He also served as General Manager of the national team from 2000-2003. In 1998, Clark delivered the keynote address at the IRB’s Conference on the Game. He was chosen one of Cal’s Ten Most Influential Sports Figures of the 20th Century by The Daily Californian in 2000 and in 2001 he received the Craig Sweeney Award, bestowed to former U.S. internationals for their “significant contribution to the game.”
Richard “Dick” Donelli was quarterback on the Columbia University’s (then it was Columbia College) football team before he started playing rugby in 1961 while a graduate student at Columbia’s Dental School. He and five other Columbia football players founded the Old Blue RFC in 1963 and until he retired from play in 1976 at the age of 39, Donelli was Old Blue’s president, captain and first side scrumhalf, revolutionizing scrumhalf play with his “spiral pass.” During that time, he catapulted Old Blue to their current perch as one of the premier rugby clubs in the country. He furthered Old Blue’s standing in U.S. Rugby by Co-Founding the Old Blue Rugby Foundation in 1984 and being its Chairman until his passing in 2011.
Terry Fleener was elected as the first president of the Eastern Rockies RFU in 1967. He was a Founding Member of the Western Rugby Union in 1975. That same year, he was on the first Board of Directors of the United States of America RFU. He was a Member of the Board of the USARFU until 1999 and served two terms as treasurer and one term as president. Fleener was the first president of PARA (Pan American Rugby Association), a Founding Member of NAWIRA (North America West Indies Rugby Association), and Chairman of the Pacific Rim Rugby Championship Ltd. He has been a Founding Member, player and administrator with the Denver Barbarians RFC since 1967.
Jay Hanson has been involved in the sport of rugby for the past 42 years, getting his start with the Ft. Worth Rugby Club in 1972. He played at flanker in the Eastern Rugby Union’s narrow 12-6 loss to France in 1976. That match earned Hanson his first look with the U.S. National Team as he sat in reserve at hooker for the Eagles match against France. Hanson toured with the Eagles on their first three tours abroad to England, Australia and Japan, and earned seven caps during his playing career. He also played for the Pacific Coast Grizzlies from 1977-1985. Hanson started coaching while he was still an active player and has continued to do so. He most recently helped organize and coach various age-grade levels at the Sierra Foothills Rugby Club and is a co-coach for the Sierra Foothills Collegiate rugby team.
Ron Mayes coached the United States National Team from 1983-1987, which included tours to Australia (1983), Japan (1985) and to the first Rugby World Cup to Australia in 1987. He was the coach of the Old Blues Rugby Club in Berkeley, CA from 1974-83, winning the first five National Club Championships on offer from 1979-1983. Mayes also coached the Northern California Pelicans from 1976-1982 and the Pacific Coast Grizzlies from 1978-1982. He was the Co-Chair of the National Technical and Development Committee from 1982-1987 and Chaired the National Technical Development Panel from 1993-1999.
Tom Selfridge began playing rugby in 1969 as a wing/outside center for the Cleveland Blues RFC. He moved to Schenectady, NY in 1973 and was soon selected for Upstate New York and Eastern Rugby Union Select Sides at #8. Selfridge played five times for the United States National Team, including the Eagles first three test matches in the modern era. Off the playing field, Selfridge was president of the Cleveland Blues, Schenectady Reds, Windhover RFC, Upstate New York Rugby Union and the Eastern Rugby Union. He served on the Board of Directors for the Upstate NY Rugby Union, the Eastern Rugby Union, the United States of America Rugby Football Union and the United State Rugby Foundation. He managed ERU teams to Wales, Zimbabwe and Bermuda; was manager for the United States Eagles against Canada in 1988; and was instrumental in organizing the USA vs South Africa match in 1981.
Kevin Swords played 10 years for the United States National Team. He played in both the 1987 and 1991 Rugby World Cups for the U.S. Swords was invited to play for the famous Barbarians invitational side in 1992 and played against Cardiff and Swansea, scoring a try against Swansea. When he retired from the international stage in 1994, Swords was the most capped Eagle ever at the time, having played in 36 test matches. Three of Kevin’s brothers played rugby, including the late Brian Swords, a former U.S. Eagle. Kevin was a captain in the United States Air Force and served his country from 1982-1992. He played for and captained the U.S. Combined Services team on several tours abroad during that time.