lejandro “Alex” Ramirez started his rugby career in 1976 with Citibank Mexico RFC and has since enjoyed many seasons as a player, coach, administrator, and selector. His passionate involvement with rugby spans more than forty years, many of which were spent with Senior Men’s and Youth clubs across Texas, and actively continues to this day. While Alex can look back on an exceptional playing career in the Texas and Mexico rugby unions, his greatest accomplishment has undoubtedly been founding and establishing five (5) different rugby clubs/programs, several of them in areas with little or no prior exposure to rugby. Fair to say, Alex is a rugby pioneer in the USA as well as an ambassador of the sport both domestic and internationally.
Alex and his wife, Alba, have been married for more than 38 years and she has been his greatest supporter in the good, the bad, and ugly in rugby. She, too, has been a tremendous contributor to rugby across the TRU, accompanying Alex on many away matches and getting to know younger and newer players among the various clubs where Alex has been involved.
Alex’s most noteworthy contribution to Texas rugby must be the four clubs that he founded in the Texas/Mexico region (McAllen Knights, Kingwood Crusaders, McAllen Maidens, Tec de Monterrey (Veracruz, MX) and the reestablished University of the Americas club in Cholula Puebla, Mexico. Everyone that has met Alex knows that first and foremost he has been and still is a wonderful and passionate ambassador for the sport of rugby.
Highlights and Achievements:
Alex’s International Rugby involvement in Mexico:
• Commenced rugby career in 1976 with Citibank Mexico RFC
• Captain of Atletico Reforma RFC (1979)
• Reestablished the Rugby program at The University of the Americas (his alma Mater 1981)
• Played for the Mexican select side, both in 15’s and 7’s and played in tournaments & tours abroad (played against a young Alan Sharpley of the Austin blacks in 1980)
• VP of the Mexican Rugby Union (1982),
• Alex was named Most Valuable Player after the 82/83 season
• In 2004 he founded the Tec De Monterrey Rugby Team in Cordoba, Veracruz named Borregos Salvajes
• From 2004-2006 Alex became an advisor for the Mexican Select Side and was the innovator of the first select side camp ever at the Tec de Monterrey Campus Central in Veracruz.
o Rugby teams have been formed in several other Tec de Monterrey University campuses after the success of Alex’s inaugural efforts with the Borregos Salvajes team in Cordoba.
Alex’s significant accomplishments domestically, primarily in the Texas Rugby Union:
• In 1984 he joined Houston RFC (teammate of Rich Prim).
• In 1992 he founded the McAllen Knights in McAllen, TX. Rugby was not familiar in the South Texas locale at that time.
• Alex served as president, coach, and player with the Knights for the club’s first 10 years.
• The McAllen Knights drove approximately 4,000 miles per season to play cup matches in Corpus Christi, Victoria, Houston, Galveston, Austin, and San Antonio.
• The McAllen Knights continue to compete after 26 years in the Texas Rugby Union RRC D-3.
• In 2002 Alex passed the torch on to Travis Hughes who became the second president of the McAllen Knights due to Alex’s open heart/double bypass surgery.
• In 2006 Alex again commenced coaching the Knights and took the team to the 2008 state finals, finishing runners-up. He kept coaching the Knights until 2012.
• In 2012 Alex became the head coach for the Kingwood High School Boys’ team.
• In his first season as head coach, the Kingwood Boys went to the state championship and finished runners-up.
• In 2012 Alex was named “Coach of the Year” by Texas Rugby.
• In the 2014/15 season the Kingwood Boys’ team went to state championships and took 3rd place.
• Various high school players coached by Alex have gone on to pursue rugby careers at the intercollegiate, senior men’s, and professional rugby levels.
• In 2015 Alex founded the Kingwood Crusaders Rugby Football Club (KCRFC).
• From 2015-2017 Alex was the president and head coach of the KCRFC. Though Alex was advanced in age (mid-sixties) he played matches more than once for the Crusaders when low roster numbers dictated.
• In 2017 Alex moved to Mission, TX and passed on the KCRFC stewardship to Harve Hulett and Mark Struk.
• As of 2019 KCRFC continues to play in the D-3 Texas RRC.
• Alex in 2018 was asked by the TRU to form a woman’s rugby team from the McAllen area. Alex founded the McAllen Maidens RFC. The team currently has 20 cipped players and have played matches against clubs from Monterrey, Mexico and Alliance RFC (Dallas, TX).
• Alex continues to coach the McAllen Maidens and the McAllen Knights.
Club Involvement (Texas and Mexico):
1976 Citibank Mexico RFC/Player
1977 Reforma Athletic Club Mexico/Player
1978-1980 Reforma Athletic Club Mexico/Player/Captain /Mexican Select Side
1981 University of the Americas – Mexico Head Coach/Player
Mexican Select Side – Re-established a folded Rugby Program
1982 University of the Americas – Mexico Head Coach/Player
VP Mexican Rugby Union
1983 University of the Americas -Mexico Head Coach/Player
Season MVP Mexican Rugby Union
1984 Moved to Houston, TX
1985 Houston RFC
1989 Moved to McAllen, TX
1992 McAllen Knights RFC Head Coach/Player Team Founder
1993 McAllen Knights RFC Played with Gray Wolves
1994-2002 McAllen Knights RFC Head Coach/Player
2002 Moved to Mexico
2004-2005 Tec de Monterrey CS Veracruz
Head Coach/Player – Team Founder
2006-2011 McAllen Knights RFC Coach/Player
2012 Moved to Houston, TX
2012 Kingwood High School Boys Rugby Club – Head Coach
TX Rugby Coach of the Year
2013-2015 Kingwood High School Boys Rugby Club – Head Coach
2015 Kingwood Crusaders RFC Head Coach – Team Founder
2015-2017 Kingwood Crusaders RFC Head Coach
2017 Moved to McAllen, TX
2017-Present McAllen Maidens RF – Head Coach – Team Founder
2017-Present McAllen Knights – Coach