At Woodward, Dan played varsity football and soccer, which prepared him for a long rugby career that continues today. As a senior, Dan earned the Ferguson Award (also known as the “hustle award”) in football. He received a football scholarship to Virginia Military Institute, where he was All-State Virginia, All-Conference, honorable mention All-American, and set a school reception record as tight end. After trialing with the Washington Redskins in 1993, he joined the United States National Rugby Team. Dan made more than 50 appearances for Team USA over a 10-year career, and served as team captain in 24 matches, including 11 wins, the most of any U.S. captain. Dan competed in two Rugby World Cups (Ireland in 1999 and Australia in 2003). He also captained the U.S. Sevens Team (the Olympic version) at the 1997 Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong. In 1996, after turning down a contract with the Minnesota Vikings, he moved to Bath, England, and joined the Bath Rugby Club for seven seasons. He was a Bath Rugby European Champion in 1998 and captain of the team for the 2001-02 season, a first for anyAmerican. Dan moved to the Leicester Tigers Rugby Club in 2003 for one season before retiring from international play. He was voted best player in the world in his position several times and was inducted into the U.S.A. Rugby Hall of Fame in 2016. Stephen Jones, the famed Sunday Times rugby correspondent, said of Dan, “His talents were myriad, a remarkable combination of power and dexterity and athleticism, and he can be surely seen as the man that the NFL missed. He is regarded around the world of rugby as arguably America’s greatest player.” After retiring, Dan worked for USA Rugby and then United World Sports as an executive vice president and tournament director. In 2016, he became the director of rugby for Anschutz Entertainment Group. Dan is also a lead analyst for NBC Sports, commentating on rugby.
- hall of fame