For over two decades, UT Rugby has employed a pre-game ritual of gathering in a circle with the captain issuing last minute strategy and motivation. The real importance of this formation, however, is what it represents: the unbroken unit - a circle of brotherhood - that refuses to break and endures all. Looking around the circle each member of the team can see those who will take the field with them, who will support them and who they can count on to move the team forward.
In this spirit, the University of Tennessee Men's Rugby Team hall of fame has been named the Tennessee Rugby Captains Circle. This award recognizes those who have stepped into that circle over and over again. Each inductee has a long history of supporting the team and leaving it better than when they found it.
As the highest honor that the Volunteer Rugby Foundation can bestow, the Captain's Circle signifies that the contributions to UT Rugby are deemed invaluable and will forever remain foundational to the success of our history.
The inaugural class of 2018 is made up of a group that are the pillars of the program. If not for the significant contributions from these men Tennessee Rugby would not be one of the preeminent collegiate rugby programs in the United States.
The 2018 Captains Circle Inductees are:
• Jim Pyles (Player) – Original founding member of Tennessee Rugby.
• Bob Hampstead (Player) – The original Iron Man of Tennessee Rugby, dedicated supporter.
• Danny Parris (player) – First Tennessee player to appear as a United States Eagle.
• Richard Sexton (Player) – Player and team leader, his namesake scholarship is the highest award given to a current player.
• Marty Bradley (Coach) – Guided Tennessee Rugby into a new era of greatness and high level competition.
• Butch Robertson (Coach) – Over 900 wins in 34 years as Head Coach established Tennessee Rugby as the strongest collegiate program in the southern US.
Induction ceremonies will be held on April 21st, 2018 during the Volunteer Rugby Foundation Awards Banquet at the Knoxville Convention center. Please make plans to attend and celebrate the 2017-2018 Tennessee Rugby Team and Captains Circle inductees.