Stephen Tomasin awarded USA Rugby’s inaugural Unsung Hero Award in honor of A. Jon Prusmack

Bi-annual award honors USA Men’s and Women’s Eagles Sevens players who have made significant contributions to their team both on and off the pitch

LAS VEGAS, NV. - Men’s Eagles Sevens’ Stephen Tomasin has been awarded USA Rugby’s inaugural Unsung Hero Award in honor of the late American rugby hero, A. Jon Prusmack.

Beginning today, the bi-annual award will be delivered at each home stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on both the USA Men’s and Women’s Sevens sides. The award will be given to athletes who exemplify the qualities synonymous with Prusmack legacy including leadership, inspiration, perseverance and humility.

Prusmack, who passed just last December, was the owner of United World Sports and its properties which include the annual HSBC USA Sevens in Las Vegas, the Collegiate Rugby Championship, Rugby Today and Rhino Rugby USA. A noble pioneer for the sport, Prusmack dedicated his life to engage and inspire American sport communities across all facets, to build a foundation for the growth of rugby in the United States.

A U.S. Rugby Hall of Famer for his extensive contribution to media, Prusmack’s legacy was cemented by his relentless spirit to continuously fight for the betterment of the sport as it pertained to both teams and fans. Prusmack was a coach and referee for several years, first falling in love with the game in the 1960s with Westchester RFC and moving on to play for two teams at one time in the New York Athletic Club’s inaugural season. He would later become a member of the New York Athletic Club’s Hall of Fame.

As a true believer in the value and impact of the collegiate game, Prusmack invested heavily in facilities for the rugby program at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy in 2016. There, his contributions were acknowledged with another induction, this time to the U.S. Naval Academy’s Rugby Hall of Fame.

The USA Rugby Unsung Hero Award has been established to acknowledge an athlete who has gone above and beyond for her or his teammates in a capacity that extends far beyond the field of play. And, this weekend, Stephen Tomasin has served as an invaluable support to guide his teammates through the peaks and valleys of the HSBC USA Sevens 2019.

USA Rugby Board Chair Barbara O’Brien said: "The Board of USA Rugby is honored to create the Unsung Hero Award in honor of A. Jon Prusmack. Jon was a generous supporter of growth in American rugby and both understood and embodied the values of the sport in his relentless pursuit of personal, professional and rugby-focused goals. This award will carry on his legacy with athletes who are on the same quest to grow American rugby."

Head Coach Mike Friday said: “Stephen fully deserves and epitomizes the spirit of this award. This entire weekend he has been selfless and maintained a work rate on both sides of the ball that has set an example for the rest of the boys. Just as Jon was, Stephen has been a man who gets the job done no matter the cost so he and his teammates can have the best chance to succeed.”

The USA Rugby Unsung Hero Award will also be awarded to a Women’s Eagles Sevens player during next season’s home stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Glendale, CO.