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Charles L. Erhardt started playing rugby with the Houston RFC in 1969 when he was a law student at University of Houston. Chuck was an avid and enthusiastic player, and began refereeing with enthusiasm that drove him to the very top of that endeavor not only in Texas but also within the Western RFU and beyond. Chuck was eulogized by all the major refereeing organizations upon his recent and sudden demise in October 2014.
Charles Ehrhardt III - 2017 TRU HOF
Lee was involved in rugby for 20 plus years. His major contributions to Texas Rugby were as TRU Vice President, club founder, coach and administrator. He was among a group of pioneers that help expand rugby in Texas that ultimately led to the formation of the TRU. In 1962 Lee started his rugby career as a player for the St. Louis Bombers. In the mid-1960's he moved to Houston and in 1969 he help formed the Houston Rugby Club along with Gail Tennant, Wayne Baxter, and Jim Savage. In 1972 Lee broke off Houston Rugby Club to form the Houston Old Boys. A club that became one of the TRU powerhouses that won many tournaments and TRU Championships. Lee coached many players who would go on to play for the TRU, Western RFU and the USA Eagles. He was the coach of Barry Waite, Texas HOF member, who was the first TRU play to player for the Eagles against France in 1976.
Lee Garner - 2017 TRU HOF
Jeff Kolberg started playing in college at Oregon State, while on the football team. Jeff played representative rugby for the Oregon Loggers, and Northwest Loggers. Jeff moved to Dallas in 1978 to coach football at SMU, and joined Dallas RFC. He was elected Club President in 1981, and served for 8 years. Jeff also served as Northern Counties for 4 years, and on the TRU Board for three years. During the time, he also served as TRU Discipline Chair. Jeff is currently serving as Red River Conference Div. 1 rep.
Jeff Kolberg - 2017 TRU HOF Class
Not only was Bob a big part of the Dallas Harlequins during the 20+ years they dominated Texas Rugby, after his playing career he helped create the Rugby Super League and served as its chairman. He went on to become a member of the USA Rugby Board of Directors, where he served as liaison for our sport the US Olympic Committee. He was also instrumental in USA Rugby attaining full membership in the USOC, and helped get rugby 7s back into the Olympic Games. Finally, he served as Chairman of the Board of USA Rugby. He has impacted the sport not just at a Texas and national level, but at the global level as well.
Bob Latham - 2017 TRU HOF
Paul Mabry has over 38 years of involvement in rugby and his body of work includes contributions as a player, referee, administrator, and major supporter of youth rugby that continues today. Some highlights include playing for Galveston Rugby for 8 years, a referee for 20 years with Society of Texas Rugby Referees, his work with the Western Rugby Union as a member of the Board of Directors for 10 years, manager of WRFU Mustangs Select XV and Program Director/Manager WRFU 7s Program. Paul’s work has also been at the USA Rugby level, as a member of the USARFU Board of Directors for ten years and he was instrumental in bringing the 2001 USA vs South Africa match to Houston. Paul was also the co-founder and still serves as Master of Ceremonies of the Lost Afternoon Luncheon that supports youth rugby in the TRU. This program is going into its 9th year and has donated in excess of $100,000 to youth rugby in Texas.
Paul Mabry - 2017 TRU HOF
Al Niece was one of the early leaders of Austin Blacks Rugby. Before there was a TRU Select Side, Al took touring sides to Canada, Aspen, and several other tournaments in the early 70's, to broaden the rugby horizons of Texas ruggers. He also started the Austin Area High School team in 1997, and was the head coach and organizer through 2003, when AAHS Rugby was the first high school team from Texas to tour New Zealand. AAHS Rugby went to the National High School Championships three times. As well as starting AAHS, he also started Westlake High School Rugby program in 2010, and took them to Nationals three times before retiring. They've been to Nationals three more times since. Niece also served on the Board of Directors for Rugby Texas from 2008 – 2012 as well as serving as TRU President (year unknown)
Al Niece - 2017 TRU HOF
Ian Nixon moved to the United States in 1972, and joined the Boston Rugby Football Club. He played there for two seasons before work transferred him to Dallas, Texas; he played for the Dallas Harlequins from 1974-76. Nixon turned to refereeing in 1976 as a member of the Society of Texas Referees. He made immediate strides with the whistle in hand, and in 1978 became a member of the Western Rugby Football Union Referee Territorial Panel. In 1980, Nixon was selected to the USA Rugby Referee Panel. That year saw Nixon in charge of the British Columbia vs. Wales match in Vancouver, and three weeks later he officiated the Pacific Coast vs. Italy match in Long Beach, CA. This banner year was topped off by Nixon’s first international test match, as he was in charge when the United States Eagles hosted the New Zealand All Blacks in San Diego, CA on October 8, 1980. He retired in 1987 as the highest ranking U.S. referee, a ranking he held from 1980-1987. Nixon continued to serve U.S. rugby as an East Representative on USA Rugby’s Board of Directors from 1987-1997, where he also functioned in the role of Secretary from 1987-1991. Nixon served as the sixth President of USA Rugby in a term lasting from 1991-1995. Nixon has earned many accolades for his outstanding service and contributions to the sport. He accorded a Life Membership from the Dallas Harlequins RFC in 1981, and the Golden Eagle Award for services to USA Rugby in 1985. He was the Denis Shanagher Memorial Award winner for services to USA Rugby Refereeing in 1994, and he was also inducted into the University of Manchester XXI Club (their Hall of Fame) for services to rugby.
John V. (Ian) Nixon - 2017 TRU HOF
Carlos Puentes was one of the founders of the Austin Blacks and one of the original landowners of Burr Field. Carlos was instrumental in helping to develop the Austin Blacks into what eventually played as two Div 1 sides, the Blacks and the Golds. In 1974, he brought over the Champagnat RFC, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a Tour of Texas, and let the locals get a taste of International Rugby for the first time. Carlos was one of the original group that formed the TRU and was also a president for the Austin Blacks several years.
Carlos Puentes - 2017 TRU HOF
James Wolfinger, or “Wolfe” to everyone who knows him, has served the Texas Rugby Union well for the past 40 years in several capacities; firstly as a player, then as a referee, a referee coordinator and trainer, Chair of the Texas Rugby Referee Association and more recently as the founder and Head Coach of one of the top high school teams in the state, St. Thomas High School RFC. During his tenure he has helped develop teams at Strake Jesuit, St. Pius X , and Memorial High Schools in Houston. In his playing days he started with the Philadelphia Rugby Club in 1976. He then moved on the Houston Houston Old Boys until 1993 when he picked up the whistle as a referee. James did very well on the other side of the ball and advanced to one of the top 12 referees in the United States by 2001. Wolfe has held the head coaching position at St Thomas since 1999 and that includes 16 appearances at State Championship Tournaments, 6 State Championships, 3 Western Championships and 4 National Championship Tournament appearances. He has also coached at the representative level including the Texas Selects vs USA U-17’s 2007, Houston Stormers U-17 Select Side Head Coach and Texas Selects U-17 Backs Coach 2011-2013. His resume also includes a lot of administration, 2008- Present Board member of Houston Youth Rugby Association and established Grow Houston Rugby, Inc. in 2016 and received grant from HYRA to build numbers of participants and leagues and tournaments in spring of 2016 as a rugby development officer.
James Wolfinger - 2017 TRU HOF
Dr. Bill Woodfin was a member of the first rugby club in Texas, Baylor Medical in Houston. After graduating from medical school, he moved to Dallas, taking a resident position at UT Southwestern. During his time as a resident, he was one of the founders of Dallas RFC. Later, as a practicing physician, he moved on to El Paso and helped found the El Paso RFC. Dr. Woodfin now lives with his wife in Dallas. He has continued to be an active Old Boy in the Dallas RFC, attending matches, banquets, and assisting with fundraising activities.
William "Bill" Woodfin - 2017 TRU HOF