Eagle Alumni Spotlight: Jeff Lombard

Eagle Alumni, Jeff Lombard, has never veered from rugby because of the culture and camaraderie behind the sport. Which is why Lombard feels it is crucial to invest in coaches and managers to properly teach those values to the next generation.

When and where did you first start playing rugby?     
I was introduced to rugby in 1969/70 at Western Washington State College in Bellingham, WA.

When did you play with the Eagles?     
1977-99, I received my first cap in 77.

What is your favorite rugby memory?     
Three moments stand out for me: Being appointed to USA Sr. Men's Manager in 1984; managing the USA XV at the Rugby World Cup in 1987; and being a receipt of US Hall of Fame in 2015.

Where are you now?   
I live in Bellingham, WA., running my small Custom Canvas Bag Manufacture company and Tent Business. Beyond enjoying time with my family and grandkids, I still find ways to be involved in rugby. Honestly, I've never really stepped away from rugby after my time as an Eagle. To this day, I remain involved in my local rugby community from the management level to the alumni level.

What do you believe is the most important factor in growing the sport of rugby in the US?    
I feel that investing in youth, coaches, managers, and the culture of rugby is a crucial factor in growing the sport. It doesn't do well for the sport to develop players that are not being coached or managed well. The reason we fell in love with the game is because of the culture and camaraderie that goes along with it. Players come to learn this through coaches and managers who are the ones who are directly teaching, demonstrating and setting the stage of the culture of this sport. I would like to see more individuals going to coaching clinics and learning everything they can about rugby so they can effectively transfer these values as well as rules of the game.

What is a piece of advice you would give to aspiring rugby players?    
Stay well rounded, give the best of yourself every time, push yourself to excel, and no one else will have to, support others around you.