Doug Robinson: Highland Rugby lives on despite abrupt end

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  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    June 7, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    Uh, Mr. Robinson -- care to do a follow up story? I think you should have checked your sources before going to print.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2012 8:27 a.m.


    Good job stepping up in defense of Pops. To have Larry appear from the "field" and set the record straight is pure delight. Thanks Larry! I've been a big fan for 30 years and it seemed crazy you would shut it down over an ego trip.

    My apologies for being a smart alec! I thought the dream story (from George Albert Smith) was appropriate since you are serving a mission.

    I really appreciate the clarification. It is sad to see a great Legacy come to a close and only shows the labor of love that it took all those years to keep it going.

    So, congrats to you for being such a strong force and I feel good knowing "the real story".


  • Larry Gelwix Fresno, CA
    June 7, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    The Highland Rugby article is not correct. My 36-year coaching career ended last year when my wife and I accepted a three-year missionary assignment from our church. Like almost all teams and in compliance with league rules, Highland drew players from several schools as not all schools fielded a team. This is now changing. USA Rugby is promoting single school rugby. Multi-school rugby will likely be phased out. When I left last June, HR had a new coach and a go-forward plan fielding both a single school team and a multi-school team. The latter being phased out over a period of time as we wanted to accommodate all current players in the program. This all changed when the new coach opted to go a different direction. HR was without a coaching staff and the season just months away. To suggest there was a planned shut-down is not accurate. The statements "Gelwix still has a hand in things" and "we are in almost constant communication" are not correct. Trybe Rugby is not a rebranded HR. Trybe is independent from Highland. I have no involvement with Trybe whatsoever, but I wish them well.

  • Heater BALA CYNWYD, PA
    June 6, 2012 11:34 p.m.

    JDG22, you ought to know as Larry's daugher that the reason he wasn't interviewed is because he's now serving a mission and the Church isn't keen on mission presidents responding to media requests back home about an issue related with your former life - whether it's coaching football, rugby, your law practice or your insurance agency. It's that "single to the glory" mentailty, because if your missionaries' families send their sons in the Fresno mission clips of rugby stories with their mission pres. quoted liberally throughout, it may have a negative effect on your dad's credibility in the mission. I'm sure he was told to forget everything at home and concentrate on the mission. It's ok. It'll all workout. Highland Rugby is small potatoes compared to what he's doing.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    June 6, 2012 9:52 p.m.

    Actually, Larry Gelwix does own Highland Rugby, and it is within his right and the right of the board to do with it what they want. But I agree with JDG on one thing, this was a poor job of journalism. No interview with Larry or with any members of the board? Very incomplete and very irresponsible to publish a story without the facts. Evans said himself that he did not know everything, so why publish it without finding out? Ridiculous.

  • JDG22 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 7:34 p.m.

    This article is very incomplete and inaccurate. I don't think that was the intention, but it is. If this is about Larry's team, why wasn't he interviewed? I can tell you from first hand accounts that there is much more to this story than is being reported. Larry left on his mission with the understanding that the HIghland Rugby team would continue as the Highland Rugby team. His choice was not to shut the team down or to have it die with him. It is unfortunate that it came to that, but it was out of his control at that point because of his mission. This was not an ego decision. He wanted HR to continue. That was the plan and what everyone involved at the time agreed upon. This article is unfortunately missing a lot of information that would maybe help people understand what happened. I'm his daughter and it makes me sad that people would question his integrity or ego based on a incomplete portrait of the end of his team.

  • Wendall Hoop Murray, UT
    June 6, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    I agree with RugbyFan1. What a stupid thing to do. How shameful of Larry to allow this to happen. He started it but does not own it. How ironic that the man who taught kids so many Wonderful life lessons would need a lesson himself. I'm embarrassed for him and for others who played for Highland. seems he needs to learn a few things. Absolutely ridiculous. His legacy is tarnished now.

  • RugbyFan1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    Regardless of who is responsible for this, it is ridiculous. Gelwix is not bigger than Highland Rugby. What a shame.

  • govt rocks Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    I think the surprising thing for the former players is the lack of announcement of the change or any indication it was happening. Maybe there was something, maybe not. There used to be a newsletter that was sent out every now and again.

    I do support the name change and love that Jeremy is instilling the same qualities. It would be impossible to follow Larry, so some change and separation is appropriate. You can't win the championship every year, and there will be growing pains as the coaching staff adjusts to life without Larry, but Trybe will rise up and for those of us that played under the Highland Rugby banner will support the club as long as the integrity of the Highland Rugby way continues.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 6, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    I am jealous of how popular Rugby is in Utah. The football coaches here are effective in blocking players from rugby in spring.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    June 6, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    Not quite how it happened...the HR Board, not Larry Gelwix, chose to transform Highland Rugby in to a foundation, mostly out of respect for Gelwix. The two were synonymous, so it was thought appropriate to let them go out together. They did try to get a single school program going at Highland High which could still be called Highland Rugby, but nobody wanted to run it there. And the Urban comment is apples to oranges. Gelwix started the program on his own, this would be more akin to a business changing its name when it takes on new ownership, which is pretty common actually. I mean, I don't remember people being up in arms when Albertson's changed to Fresh Market!

  • jawico Cedar City, UT
    June 6, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    I agree with RBN. There seems to be more to this story that is not being reported.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    Who is or what is a "Grampa"?

    I sense that there is another side to this story.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Urban Meyer wanted to have the Utes change their name when he left as well, but the board voted in favor of keeping the name the same.

    Also, I had a dream that my great Grampa came to me and asked, "what have you done with my name? I sure hope you have honored it, etc. etc. blah blah blah" I said, "I changed the name. That was your name. We didn't want anyone else to use it and possible let you down. You had such a good name. Good job Grampa!"

    I like Larry and he clearly did a great job, but that is a lame way to try to preserve your legacy.

    "Sorry kids. You're all going to have to change your name. I am the only true one in the family. Go create your own name! Good luck"

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 6, 2012 5:15 a.m.

    Wow. Very surprising. Hope the Trybe does well.