The New York Athletic Club inducted five members of the club’s rugby team into their Hall of Fame at a dinner Friday, January 13.
The event was sponsored by the NYAC and the Winged Foot Rugby Foundation, and was coordinated by Tony Nash and Christian Zebicoff. The event was MC'd by former NYAC MVP and Collegiate All American Paul Enright.
In attendance were several hundred guests, including Colin Neill, the president of the entire NYAC (not just the rugby club), and himself a longtime rugby player in Ireland.
The five inductees included the three team members who were killed on September 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks on New York City. Also inducted were two members of the original NYAC rugby team in 1973.
Sean Lugano. A player at Xavier HS, and a four-time collegiate All American at Loyola College, Lugano was a stalwart for the NYAC and helped the team to the USA Rugby club finals and later to acceptance in the Rugby Super League in 2001. His induction was introduced by his mother Eileen Lugano. Sean Lugano was at work at the World Trade Center when it was attacked 9-11 2011; he was killed in the attack.
Mark Ludvigsen. A product of William and Mary College, Ludvigsen was a longtime starter for the club and its president. He was the driving force behind making NYAC rugby strong enough as an organization, from an administrative and playing standpoint, to join the Super League. He played lock for NYAC and was a MetNY RFU all-star. He also died during the 9-11 attacks. His induction was introduced by his sister Claire.
Brent Woodall. A starting tight end for the University of California Golden Bears in football and a minor league AAA level pitcher in baseball, Woodall was the classic crossover rugby player. He was a dominating force for the NYAC as a lock and was instrumental in the team’s success leading to Super League acceptance in 2001. He died 9-11, 2001 before being able to see his daughter born. Brent Woodall’s induction was introduced by former Cal teammate Jonah Cave.
A Jon Prusmack. A member of the original NYAC XV in 1973, Jon Prusmack remains a hugely important figure in the sport of rugby. He wrote the first coaching book by an American coach, coached the NYAC, was a longtime MetNY RFU referee, and helped co-found Rugby Magazine.
Nor the owner and energy behind the USA 7s rugby tournament and the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, as well as owner of Rugby Magazine and RUGBYMag.com, he has been called a rugby visionary. Prusmack was introduced by Bob Ponzini.
Ray Condon. A member of the NYAC original XV in 1973, Ray Condon was a coach of the NYAC and a board member of the Winged Foot Rugby Foundation. He has been actively involved in the NYAC for almost 40 years at all levels. Ray Condon was introduced by original XV teammate Bill Haldane.