Gerald "Jerry" Gallion

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Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony January 14, 2022

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Winning the line out for Crescent City RFC, versus New Orleans RFC, Audubon Park, circa 1980.

 

Category                                Dates                    Club/Organization                              Position

 

As a Player:  

RFU Club                               1973-75                 WASPS FC, London                               8, Lock     

USA Rugby Club                   1975-78                 University of Miami RFC                        Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   1978-81                 Crescent City RFC, New Orleans, LA   Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   1981-84, 87-90     Severn River RFC, Annapolis, MD         Lock       

USA Rugby Club                   1984-87, 90-92     New Orleans RFC, New Orleans, LA    Lock  

USA Rugby Club                   1992-94                 Houston RFC, Houston, TX                   Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   1994-2000             Old Tin Can RFC (Masters)                   Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   1998-present        Les Vieux Garçons RFC (Masters)         Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   2000-2016            Texas XXXs RFC (Masters)                      Lock    

USA Rugby Club                   2017-present        Louisiana Exiles RFC (Masters)             Lock 

As a Coach:    

USA Rugby Representative   1983-90               United States Coast Guard Rugby (Founder) 

USA Rugby Representative   1984-90               USA Armed Forces Rugby (Combined Services) 

USA Rugby Club                    1992-94               Houston RFC, Houston, TX 

 

As an Administrator:  

President:                           Crescent City RFC, Severn River RFC and New Orleans RFC     

Vice President:                   Louisiana RFU, Potomac RFU, Deep South RFU, True South GU

President:                           USA Rugby East (Eastern Rugby Union) 1987-90

Member:                            USA Rugby Board of Directors 1987-90

Member:                            USA Rugby Congress 2014-2018

Founder/Director:             Coast Guard Rugby Foundation 2017-present

 

My first career was as a Coast Guard officer. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, I found my self assigned to the U.S. Embassy in London. I was recruited to play rugby, on my way to work on the Tube in London, by Wasps in 1973. “Hey, Yank – you look like a big bloke. You wanna play rugby?” I have been actively engaged in rugby, on and off the pitch, ever since:  

I  was  an  average  rugby  player.  My only select side performance was captaining the USA Rugby South Panthers, at  age  40,  against the Eastern Rugby Union Collegiate All Stars.  I got to play No. 8  for  the  first  time since my early days at Wasps and had a field day against young, eager college  players.  The scrumhalf was an old friend, and he let me pick up the ball at the base of every  scrum.  We did some damage.

 

There  are  quite  a few  things  which I am proud to have accomplished over my years in rugby. I am particularly  proud of  the  following things,  which  I  was  privileged to do during my years as a player  and administrator at Crescent City RFC and New Orleans RFC:

 

•  Working in the  early  years  of  CCRFC  to  establish a recognized club organization (drafted club constitution and established routine  governance  procedures) and identity  (club logo, pins, etc.). Much of that governance model continued to be employed by NORFC after the clubs merged in the mid-1980s;

 

•  Election  at  higher  levels  of  administration  to  serve  the  game  and  reinforce  the  reputation of CCRFC and NORFC as premier clubs: Louisiana Rugby  Union  Vice  President,  USA Rugby East (Eastern  Rugby  Union)  President,  and USA  Rugby  Board  Member.  When the True South Geographical Union was formed in 2012, I was asked to represent NORFC and serve as its Vice President.  I wrote the TSGU Bylaws and represented it and the rest of the Southern Conference in the USA Rugby Congress from 2012 to 2019;

 

•  Appointment in 1987 as  one  of  the  two  official USA Rugby  delegates  to  the  inaugural  Rugby World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and to the related Asia-Pacific Rugby Congress. I enjoyed the added privilege of traveling and playing matches on the side with my New Orleans mates, Craig Boudreaux, Randy Traylor, George Henderson and Jim Genthon;

 

•  Founding the  U.S. Coast  Guard  Rugby  team  in  1983,  coaching  it  for  eight  years,  and placing numerous  players  on the  USA Combined  Services  team. Its first practice was actually held at the Coast Guard Air Station in Belle Chasse. There was a saying for many years that “the Coast Guard Rugby train runs through New Orleans.” There is a reason why the Coast Guard racing stripe is on the NORFC jersey;

 

•  Coaching the USA Combined  Services  team  from  1984  to  1990 (including New Orleans players Tim McCarty, Dan Cronin, John Long, Matt Sisson, Gene Adgate, Dan MacLeod, Eddie Nagle, and John Leonard) and placing three players on the 1991 USA Rugby World Cup squad;  and

 

•  Being charged  in  1990  by  the President of USA Rugby  to  write a white  paper  for  the  U.S.  Olympic  Committee about  the  return of  rugby  to  the Olympics,  a paper  which became  the  first  domino  to  tumble  in the  eventual  membership  of  USA Rugby in  the  USOC  and the  USOC’s  advocacy  for  Olympic  rugby, and which culminated in rugby’s return as an Olympic  sport  in  Rio  de  Janeiro  in  2016.

 

•  Meeting the beautiful Jeanne Marie Kenney at the Crescent City pitch at Marconi and Robert E. Lee on April 8, 1979. What a blessing!

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Jerry and His Beautiful Wife, Jeanne.  Match versus Severn River Old Salts, March 2020

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Claiming the restart versus Semiahmoo Old Boys,

French Quarter Fest Tournament 2014

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Jerry and fellow Hall of Famer, Mike Kerrigan at Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado, scene of two NORFC National Championships