Anderson Establishes Rugby’s Second Lock Positional Endowment
“I’ve been inspired for 50 years.”
When it came to looking for inspiration to build a positional endowment, former Cal football player and rugby captain coach Ned Anderson didn’t have to look far. Anderson, the fifth head coach in Cal rugby’s 140-year history, recently donated $250,000 to donate to The Ned Anderson Family Rugby Lock Endowment.
Now a member of the Cal Rugby Advisory Board, Anderson first took up rugby in the spring after the football seasons, but couldn’t help but fall in love with the sport.
“At that time, a lot of footballers played rugby in the off-season, but I really fell in love with the game,” said Anderson.
Anderson captained the Rugby Bears for three years in a row and also captained the team that made a landmark tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1971. The Bears have won five of their nine games, including victories over Queensland University in Ballymore (11-9) and Australia Capital Territory (ACT) in Canberra (20-17).
Anderson, who played for legendary head coach Miles “Doc” Hudson, took over from Hudson at age 29 in 1975 and maintained the program’s reputation for success, holding an overall coaching record of 105-52-2 (0.664). The national collegiate championship was first introduced to the sport of rugby in 1980 and Anderson led the Golden Bears to their first four titles from 1980-83.
“We set a very high standard early on and we’ve built on that ever since,” said Anderson. “Cal has taken the game of rugby to the next level. It has really taken rugby to the next level and we’ve brought a lot of other collegiate teams with us.”
Anderson continued the tradition of passing the reins to those who played before him, making way for current Cal head coach, Jack Clark, who played for Anderson at Cal before taking the helm in 1984.
“The term that best describes Ned Anderson is servant leadership,” Clark said. “He has put Cal rugby’s interests at the forefront of his actions for half a century.”
Anderson stayed close to the program after Clark took over and continued on as an assistant coach for several years. His two sons, Scott and David, both played rugby for the Bears, graduating in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Anderson returned again as an assistant coach from 2003-2008 and in 2011 he was inducted into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame .
However, the generosity for Anderson never ceased as he has donated to the rugby program almost every year since the late 1980s. His donation continues a long history of former Cal rugby players, family and friends generously giving back to the university and the program.
The Ned Anderson Family Rugby Lock Endowment is especially meaningful to Anderson as it funds the program’s second lock position. The other lock donation is in the name of Robert Paylor, created by Cal rugby alum and advisory board member Byron Deeter in 2018. Paylor was paralyzed from the neck down during the 2017 national championship game, but has inspired many on the road to recovery. He has gone on to become a motivational speaker, the executive director of the Big C Society and, upon commencement, walked across the stage to receive his degree after graduating from the Haas School of Business.
“I was part of Robert’s recruiting at Cal and he’s someone I developed a close relationship with,” said Anderson. “He couldn’t finish his time on the pitch, but he’s made some incredible impressions since then. I’m very proud to be the linchpin of the scrum alongside Robert Paylor. That’s something that’s very special to me.”