Jay Hanson was introduced to rugby in the early 70’s while attending Texas Christian University. He has been involved in the sport for the past 45 years.
Returning to his Washington DC home in 1975, he played briefly for the Montgomery Rugby Club, then with the Washington Rugby Club. His aggressive play and ability to dig out the ball did not go unrecognized. In 1976, Hanson was selected for the Eastern Rugby Union game against France, where he and the team surprised the French before eventually losing 12 – 6. This led to his first Eagle selection – a reserve role against France in the Chicago game.
Encouraged by the USARFU coaching staff, Hanson moved West to San Francisco and the San Francisco Rugby Club. In those early years of the USARFU’s return to international play, he was a stalwart.
Hanson developed his coaching skills throughout his playing career. SFRC was very active in getting rugby into the local high schools, and Hanson made time to help with numerous coaching clinics. Working with Colin Carr, he co-coached the Mission High School Rugby Club in the first year the SFRC moved from “Youth” into the high schools. Hanson was an assistant coach with the PCRFU Grizzlies, a coach for SFRC, and, after moving from the Bay Area, with developing teams and leagues in the Sacramento area.