I knew Mike well, he was a huge help to me when I came on as the competitions chair for USA Rugby South. I am stunned and saddened to hear this news and on behalf of the True South I offer our condolences and sympathies to his family and friends. The excerpt below comes from USAR.
Mike Cobb, who played, coached, and officiated rugby for more than three decades, was killed Saturday when an automobile struck him in Thailand where he was participating in a rugby referee exchange.
In every respect, Cobb’s influence on the game he loved touched many in the U.S. and beyond. Once ranked as one of the top rugby officials in the U.S., Cobb served as USA Rugby Eastern Zone Manager for referees at the time of his death. He was a fixture at national rugby conventions and games and participated in dozens of international exchanges.
“We were shocked and saddened to hear about Mike’s passing, our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s friends and family at this time,” said USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville. “Mike was such a larger than life character, passionate about his rugby and always going above and beyond to help players, referees and coaches develop their potential.”
“Few in rugby, if any, could rival his dedication and work ethic, or his irrepressible desire to make the sport of rugby better for all,” said John Meyers, President of the Southeast Rugby Referee Society. “What he meant to our Society cannot be summarized in a few sentences, nor could we give justice to such meaning. He coached, mentored, and evaluated referees and referee coaches both nationally and locally. He produced innumerable rugby educational videos and gave numerous presentations each year. Suffice-it-to-say that he was a rugby tour-de-force.”
Returning home after serving in the military, Cobb played for the Greenville Griffins from 1983 to 1992 where he served as Captain. The club disbanded in 1992 but was reestablished in 1994. Cobb was one of the few older Greenville players to make the transition to the new team. In 1996, he retired as player and became a certified referee the next year.
Beyond officiating, Cobb found time to coach. In 2004, he led the Furman University women’s rugby team to the Rugby South Finals. From 2005-08 he served as head coach for the Greenville Griffins men’s team, leading them to the USA National Final 16 in 2006. At the time of his death, Cobb was assistant coach for South Greenville, a top high school club that is advancing to nationals.