Ray’s rugby career began at age 11, at the famous “Public School,” King Edwards School. At 13, Cornbill’s family left En- gland for Toronto, Canada. There was no high school rugby at York Memorial, so when Ray was 16 he joined the Toronto Barbarians men’s team. He earned Ontario Provincial honors in 1960 and played in the 7 jersey against a touring Yawata team from Japan. Ray played with the Montreal Barbarians from 1962-65, captaining the team in 1964 and helping them win two Eastern Canada Championships. Ray also played for the Quebec Provincial All-Stars. In 1965, Ray became player/ coach of the Manhattan Rugby Football Club.
Ray began coaching representative rugby and in 1970 coached
the New York Metropolitan Union All-Stars and became the head coach of the Manhattan RFC. In 1971, Ray became the head coach of the Eastern Rugby Union rep- resentative side. Ray made the jump up to the United States National Team program in 1976. He was on a panel of four national team selectors from 1976-83. Ray was the head coach of the Eagles from 1976 – 1983. In 2000, Ray returned to the Eagles as assistant coach and provided new head coach Duncan Hall with his
valuable international experience.
In 1978, Ray was the head coach of the US Cougars, a combined representative side that toured South Af- rica and Zimbabwe. At that time, of cial national teams were barred from international competition with South African national teams. The Cougars are the only team to have ever defeated a reigning Currie Cup champion in South Africa (18-15 over Northern Transvaal).
Cornbill was an assistant coach for New York Old Blue in 1986, and served as their head coach from 1988- 90. Ray continued to coach over the years and was inducted into the USA Rugby hall of Fame in 2013 and at that time, had spent 60 consecutive years playing or coaching rugby.
Maccabi USA Rugby
Ray was the first, ever, Maccabi USA Rugby head coach in 1985, which immediately brought credibility and national attention to the newly established program. Ray coached the team to the Bronze Medal that year. Ray was the de facto head coach in 1989, due to the Maccabi USA policy that all Maccabiah coaches had to be Jewish. An arrangement was worked out which allowed Ray to join the team in Israel and act as the team’s head coach other than at official Maccabiah non-rugby functions. Ray did all this at his own personal expense – an example of his dedication to the Maccabiah program! Again, Ray’s team won the Bronze med-al. Ray was well-respected in the USA rugby community which helped Maccabi USA Rugby gain respect in the USA which culminated with Ray and Jordan Weinstein getting Maccabi USA Rugby invited to play in the 1993 ITT’s in May 1993. Later in July, Cornbill combined with longtime friend and former Eagles head coach George Betzler to coach the US Maccabiah squad to a Silver medal. Ray was very passionate and connected to the program and in 1997, he came to Israel just to support the team.
Hall of Fame Plaque
The first Head Coach of USA Maccabi Rugby.
Head Coach USA 13th World Maccabiah Games 1985-Bronze
Head Coach USA 14th World Maccabiah Games 1989-Bronze
Head Coach USA 13th World Maccabiah Games 1993-Silver
Inducted USA Rugby Hall of Fame 2013
Head Coach USA National Rugby Team 1976-1983
First Head Coach of USA National Sevens Rugby Team, 1981 (Hong Kong Sevens)
Assistant Coach USA National Rugby Team 2000
Head Coach USA Cougars Africa Tour including defeat of Curry Cup Champion Northern Transvaal
Head Coach Eastern (USA) Rugby Union 1971-1975
Head Coach Met New York Rugby Union 1970
Head Coach Manhattan RFC 1965
Head Coach New York Old Blue 1988-1990