Eric Swanson attended Cal Berkeley on a football scholarship from 1968-1972 where he played offensive guard. After reading that Cal’s rugby team was going to tour to Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 1971, Swanson quickly abandoned his short-lived wrestling career and joined many of his football buddies on Doc Hudson’s rugby pitch in Memorial Stadium. Like most ruggers back then, the first game he actually saw was the one he played in. The 1971 six-week Australia-New Zealand was a great success and great adventure. After graduating from Cal in 1972, Swanson spent six weeks in New Zealand under the coaching of Pat Vincent and Dennis Storer as a California Grizzly, where they played against the best University teams, rep sides, and Mauri All-Blacks.
After graduating from Cal, Swanson was a founding member of the Old Blues Rugby Club and played for the Northern California Pelicans in 1974. In 1974, Swanson moved to San Diego and played with O.M.B.A.C. and Southern California Griffiths. Swanson was selected to play on the first Eagles Team against Australia in 1976. After moving to Colorado in the fall of 1976 Swanson played for University of Colorado before founding Kings’ Rugby Club, a 7s team that successfully toured Eastern Europe in 1987.
Professionally, Swanson served 25 years with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) before joining a tech company where he continues to work today. He has been married to Liz since 1977, has three grown and married children, eight grandchildren, and lives in Longmont Colorado.