2017 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee: Tommy Smith

2017 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee: Tommy Smith

Source: U.S. Rugby Foundation

San Diego, CA (March 28, 2017) – Tommy Smith started his notable rugby career with the Washington RFC in 1974. In 1978, he moved across the country to California to play rugby for the Santa Monica Rugby Club. Three years later, Smith received a rugby scholarship to UCLA that included being assistant coach under fellow U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Dennis Storer.  Smith was recognized as an All-American in 1982 and that same year, took over as Head Coach at UCLA when Storer retired. Smith continued to coach the UCLA 7s team until 1990.

In 1981, Smith was selected to the All-World 15s team that defeated the famed Barbarians 38-36 in Hong Kong. He would earn four XVs caps for the Eagles, playing against Canada twice, England and South Africa.

Smith was a highly decorated 7s player and in 1997, became the only Northern Hemisphere player to be selected to the All-Time, All-World Team in the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong 7s. He is still the only American player to ever win the prestigious Best and Fairest Award at the Hong Kong Sevens, which he won in 1986. He was a member of US Eagles teams that reached the Hong Kong Plate Championship on three occasions (winning two) and captained the Eagles 7s team on 13 occasions. He participated in international 7s tournaments in Melrose, Sydney, Dubai, Lord Tavern, Selkirk, Galashield, and Minerva 7s, just to name a few.

From 1998-2001, Smith was the U.S. Eagles 7s head coach and in Budapest, Hungary, led the U.S. to its first international tournament championship since 1924. During his tenure as head coach, the Eagles went 6-0 in the World Cup Qualifier for the Americas in Chile in 2000.

Tommy has also coached for the UC Berkeley RFC, Pacific Coast Team, Old Blue, West 7s at the ITT’s, and Alameda Youth RFC. Smith currently serves as the head coach the Redondo Beach Rugby Club 7s teams.