Herb was raised in a sporting household highlighted by baseball,football, and philandering, in his home state of Oregon. Rugby found him as a gift from his friends on the Portland Pigs. He immediately found his niche as tight head prop; scoring a three-point try in his first match (1968). Herb was soon moved to his beloved position of scrum half and played for the University of Oregon and “those Pigs”, until he moved to New Mexico in early 1971. Initially, he played for the university side at UNM, while being a grad student. He moved on to play with Santa Fe RFC until Herb joined the Aardvarks in 1974. Herb continued there until the end of 1976, when he returned to Portland , Oregon and began playing for and coaching the Portland Jesters.
While with the „Varks he represented the Rio Grande Union, and the Eastern Rockies Union, in select side events, in Kansas City, San Francisco, Denver and in France. Herb also represented San Diego County while playing for OMBAC
Over the years, Herb coached and played in San Diego, Pittsburgh, Ireland, England, and toured New Zea- land while playing for OMBAC. He also coached Princeton University. Somewhere along the line he was sub- jectively given the moniker of “Foul Howell”; origin unknown. His other nicknames became “The General” and “The Astronaut”. Source: SP Robinson. He has managed multiple overseas rugby tours to Wales and England More recently, Herb coached in Wales as the skills coach for Bethesda RFC and head coach for Bangor University. He presently is the Head Men‟s Coach at D-2 Western Oregon University. Herb is in his third year there. He also conducted coaching clinics for rugby coaches in Shanghai, China in 2010.
Herdb‟s rugby honors date back to the dark ages of rugby locally, as the founder of the High Desert Classic (1972) and Founding President of the Rio Grande Rugby Union (1974). He served USA Rugby on the National Coaching Committee from 1983—1987, and coached the Western Collegiate Representative side for four years in various capacities. He also served as the National Collegiate Chairman for USA Rugby 1985— 87. Herb‟s playing career ended at age 55 by being the Co-Captain of the Host Portland Team for the World Master Games in 1998; playing against Russia, British Columbia and Northern California.
If it were not for those of you reading these ramblings, none of this would have been possible. Rugby is about friends, foes who become friends, travel to far away lands to share the bond of the sport, and the universality of the game. Herb is especially proud for the new generations of players entering high school and university programs; it is thrilling to see and share in the results of the work of others. He thanks each of you for the part you have played in his life: including his family—Nicole, Autumn, Virginia, Analise and Haung Shan!
Rio Grande Rugby has much for which to thank Herb Howell. He was one of the founding members of Rio Grande Rugby and served as our inaugural Chairman.