The late Dr. Robert “Bob” Fleet is known as the Godfather of East Texas Rugby. Following a stint playing for Texas A&M, Bob became a Research Associate in the School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin University in the early 70s and led the team as a player and/or coach over four-plus decades. Besides planting the flag for Texas Rugby in Nacogdoches, Bob was a founder of the Eastern Counties Division of the TRU and fostered programs throughout all of Deep East Texas, ensuring that the TRU would not be a metro-centric organization. Clubs from Shreveport to the Gulf Coast and in between benefitted from his leadership in the region, allowing players to earn All Star honors at the divisional, state and Western USA levels, while providing access to referees and coaching resources. Bob even served as Coach and Head Selector of the All Star team.
Beyond coaching, he loved to play the game and took the field for a number of teams besides SFA, including Shreveport and Sam Houston. In addition, he played over-50s rugby with Old Hat in the Dallas area and for the USA team at first International Golden Oldies Tournament in New Zealand. He also helped grow the game as a referee, and through the hundreds of players he touched who have gone on to serve rugby throughout Texas.