All-America Alum Sponsors Bears at Heroes Run
LAFAYETTE, Calif. – Members of the California Golden Bears ran the 9/11 Heroes Run on Sunday at Lafayette Reservoir, with the Rugby Bears’ entry sponsored by former Cal All-American Steve Hiatt in support of the cause for veterans, survivors, first responders and their families.
Proceeds from the event went to the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization founded on an “’If Not Me, Then Who’ movement … to continue the service to community and country exemplified by the nation’s fallen heroes.” Hiatt sponsored Cal rugby’s entrants as a way to honor all those who serve and have been affected by the war on terror.
A former U.S. National Team player in both 15s and 7s who earned his economics and MBA degrees from Cal, Hiatt is an accomplished businessman who has led California Maritime rugby program as head coach since 2010, continuing a long line of former Bears to become successful coaches by taking the Keelhaulers to the postseason three of the past four years in the National Small College Rugby Organization.
Hiatt said that after the Bears ran the Heroes Run course, led by first-place finisher Spencer Morris, a senior fullback, the Cal contingent remained at the finish line “clapping everybody in and congratulating them on their work. It was great to see these young varsity athletes cheering on the other runners. They’re varsity athletes focused on getting better and challenging themselves to be better as a team; on the other hand, we talked about what their majors were, what they’re doing in school, their hopes for the future, and you can tell that they truly are student-athletes.”
Hiatt added that his ambition for Cal Maritime is to reflect the culture of his former team and his alma mater, empowering everyone with the responsibility to support each other.
“Cal is a standard bearer, and everyone associated with it takes pride in that high standard and high class,” Hiatt said. “It doesn’t just happen. You have to step up and do the things that need to be done. The next step after graduating is stepping up and paying it forward to your team and your community.”
“As a team we feel a true responsibly to participate in community service events,” said Bears head coach Jack Clark. “There are a lot of worthy causes which [Cal rugby’s] participation can really help. What made this particular bit of service extra rewarding was Steve [Hiatt] sponsoring the team’s run.”
The fall season of Olympic Rugby 7s kicks off the 133rd year of Cal rugby when the Bears travel to the West Coast 7s on West Coast 7s at Cal Poly on October 11. The PAC Sevens Tournament caps the autumn schedule at home on Witter Rugby Field November 8-9 before the spring 15s season commences in January. The 2014-15 will once again end with the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s at the end of May.