David John Williamson
Dave graduated CAL in criminology after rowing for 4 years. He then headed to Hastings Law School. However, his legal education was interrupted by two years in the Navy stationed in San Diego. In 1971, he restarted at Hastings and signed up for the law school rugby team in his second year. As a tall, graceful, athletic man, he was a perfect second row, despite his moniker of "Bunny". The team quickly became a focal point for him and his college sweet heart and ultimately wife, Helen, who also played second row for SF Women's Rugby team. After graduation and passing the bar, he joined PG&E's law department where he initially handled environmental cases and later construction litigation. A seemingly patient quiet lawyer at work, he came alive on the Hasting Rugby team on and off the field, as a fire-eating player and a boisterous singer at the post match parties. Rugby, he declared, was a lot more fun than rowing!
The team adopted its nickname "The Floating Rhinos" after a 1977 tour to England and Wales, thereafter becoming known as the Hastings Rhinos. The team matured into the HOBS (Hastings Old Boys) and played together many years, both locally and on tour to Canada and Catalina. Dave's interest in refereeing coincided with the old boys era, when he began to ref more than play. His family interests broadened upon becoming the father of two boys, Marcus and Tyler, who later played rugby. As an active referee, he progressed up the ranks until age and the requirement of stronger legs and better athleticism caught up with him, which was when he turned to referee coaching.
In the late 90's Dave became one of Northern California and USA Rugby's stronger Performance Reviewers. Most referees aspiring to the National Level had to travel to “Pelican Land” to have Dave complete a review/grade on the referee's performance. In addition to being a Performance Reviewer, Dave was tasked by the Pacific Coast Rugby Football Union to chair the Referee's Society (from 2000-2004). Dave continued to regularly complete performance reviews until referee coaching became popular with the IRB, now World Rugby.
Retiring from coaching at the national level in 2009, he devoted countless hours to the coaching of young referees, coaching Berkeley High boy's rugby team, filling duties as Development Officer at the monthly NorCal Referee Society and organizing the Rugby NorCal high school referee system. His death on June 29, 2017 is a sad day for Rhinos, Pelicans, referees, family and friends. He will be missed.
Rugby NorCal and the Northern California Rugby Referee Society (NCRRS) have partnered to create the David Williamson Referee Scholarship as a way to honor the late, great, David Williamson who put in so much time from year to year in order to continue to develop young referees amongst our ranks. We wanted to continue David's legacy by creating the David Williamson Referee Scholarship. Here's a brief overview:
We now find ourselves in the position to identify a candidate. If you are 18-22 years old, actively taking assignments from Rugby NorCal and NCRRS, and interested in developing your skills please complete the following David Williamson Scholarship Application Form:
Please forward this email and information to any young referee you feel could benefit from this opportunity. It will be an ongoing award given at least once, and up to twice a year for the foreseeable future. It is yet another way we are doing what we can to incentivize and continue to improve the refereeing numbers and quality in our area.