Tom Billups began his rugby career in 1984 with the Quad City Irish while an undergraduate student at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
Tom was a four-year letter winner during the Viking’s run of four consecutive national championships for football, and ended his collegiate career 49-0-1. Tom played football in the Fall, wrestled for Augustana in the Winter, and played rugby for the Irish in the Spring.
He first represented the United States at the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens, and continued to play sevens for the U.S. until 1993. After a season in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, Tom moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to play for the Old Blues, who won the national club championship in 1992.
Tom earned his first of 44 international test caps in June of 1993 versus Canada, and captained the Eagles in twelve tests in 1998.
Billups was one of the first Americans to sign a professional contract in 1996 when rugby became professional worldwide. He played for the London Harlequins from 1997 to 1999, and was the Supporter’s Club Player of the Year in the 1997-1998 season.
In 1999 Tom finished his professional career at Pontypridd in Wales. He played his last game of rugby against Australia in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
After returning home to the U.S. in 2000, he was hired as a national team assistant coach, and has been an assistant coach at the University of California – Berkeley. He was the interim head coach for the December 2001 test versus South Africa in December of that year.
Tom was appointed by USA Rugby to the position of National Team Head Coach in January of 2002 and recently concluded his time with USA Rugby.
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