Jeff started his rugby career while at the University of Minnesota in the mid 1970s. After graduating college, he moved to Iowa and played for the Des Moines Rugby Club. While there, he represented the Heart of America Rugby Union at the Sub-Unions of the West Territorials.
He then moved to Dallas, Texas where we worked for a painting company and played for the Dallas Harlequins. His select side rugby continued for the Texas Rugby Union at the Sub-Unions of the West Territorials in Greeley, Colorado. Although he was not selected to represent the West, he had established himself as an intense, hard hitting inside center.
In 1978 Jeff returned to his hometown of Springfield, Ohio and initially played for the Dayton Rugby Club. He soon left to play with the Division 1 Scioto Valley Rugby Club in 1979. This was the club where he shared an intense allegiance and played first side rugby there for over twenty years until approximately 2002. At the club, was captain, President, and was instrumental in the club obtaining a clubhouse. Not many clubs had a clubhouse during this period, so that also attracted other excellent players to the club.
Jeff was one of many outstanding rugby players with the club and contributed to Scioto Valley becoming one of the top five clubs in the Midwest and in competing in many Midwest championship finals. They did so for four consecutive years from 1982 through 1985. As a reward, Jeff represented the Ohio Sub Union team in the early 1980’s.
Jeff was a versatile player who played rugby 15s and 7s. He helped Scioto Valley also to become a rugby sevens force during the 1980s. They often were the Ohio Sevens Champions. They also made the Can Am Finals both years they participated. In 2005 Jeff was inducted in Scioto Valley’s initial class for the Hall of Fame. During his induction speech, he described that “his greatest legacy was his son Nate.”
Maccabi USA Rugby
Jeff made his debut with Maccabi USA Rugby at the 1989 World Maccabiah games where he showed his versatility and played both flyhalf and center. The team played well and came away from the Games with a bronze medal.
Jeff was selected for the Maccabi USA Rugby Pan-Am squad in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1991. There the team played against the Uruguay, the Old Christians (whose team’s plight was told in the book Alive), and the Carrasco Polo Club who were the National Club champions at the time.
In the mid 1990s, Jeff played in the Magnificent Sevens tournament in Toronto.
Jordan Weinstein, who was rugby chairperson for Maccabi USA Rugby described him as one of the hardest hitting rugby players. “He hit like a freight train, although he was about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds. He played much larger.” At the breakdowns, he was the first there and when he had the ball it was not lost.