New York, NY: In an absolute shock to the USA Rugby Community, Alex Magleby has resigned as Head Coach of the USA Eagles 7s mens national team. Magleby announced today, he will be stepping down after the 2013 Rugby 7s World Cup in Moscow, later this year.
Magleby was appointed the head coach of the mens 7s national team in March of 2012 to replace Al Caravelli, who also resigned for personal reasons. The team struggled to finish the 2011/2012 season and the beginning of the 2012/2013 season. However at the halfway point of this season, the US are on fire. They have made 3 straight plate finals, winning two of them consecutively. Things were clicking, players were named on all- tournament teams, with one named player of the tournament. There was a new found hope, excitement and expectations for USA 7s. According Magleby though the time was right, as he stated in the press release:
“Timing is much of life, and as we have tried to teach the players, there is a time and a place for most things. The hard part is figuring out where those moments are and will be. My contract ends following the Rugby World Cup in Moscow, and with the subsequent start of the 3-year cycle into the Rio Olympics, now is the right time for transition.”
It is tough to figure out why he didn’t re-sign. It’s unlikely that it was a negotiation tactic. It is best not to speculate on his motives, but we are all saddened by the news. USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville expressed his thoughts on the matter.
“I am personally and professionally disappointed that Alex has made the decision to step down as Head Coach of the Men’s Eagles Sevens team following the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow. Alex has made great strides with the squad during the last 12 months and we will be sorry to see him go. I know this has been a very tough decision for Alex and wish him every success in the future.”
There is speculation as to what will be Magleby’s and USA rugby’s next step. Odds are that Magleby will make a return to the college arena after a year away from the game. Most coaches take a year to recover from burnout then they are back to it. He could end up with a college powerhouse that hasn’t dominated 7s like Penn St or Cal. He could go to another school with a strong alumni, likely an Ivy League one. It may even be a surprise move to the business side with the likes of Grand Prix 7s or USA 7s. We all wait for his next decision and wish him luck throughout the R7WC and with his next move.
As for the USA 7s eagles team, USA Rugby will begin looking for a replacement immediately. Who is the odds on favorite is up for debate, but possible coaches are
Waisale Serevi -Unlikely as he is building the Serevi brand and not likely to give up private interests.
Ben Gollings – Currently with the Serevi program as a brand ambassador and coach, but may be too costly.
Dan Payne – Doing great work as Director of Rugby for Life University having success in Mens and College rugby 15s and 7s.
ODA/TU Coach – It is possible that some of the successful coaches of the Olympic Development academies and Territorial Union sides would be in the running.
We all wait with baited breathe to find out.
Carlin Isles: Isles is expected to sign a contract with Heineken Cup champs and Top 14 finalists Toulon in July. It appears they have agreed on terms and are waiting for the official start of the off-season in July when Isles’ USA Rugby contract expires. It will likely be similar to Chris Wyles’ first contract with Saracens which had him train with the club but be released for all stops in the 7s series.
Positives are that Isles will get top level training while USA rugby is free to offer a residential contract to another player. Both Isles and Magleby were interviewed by RWU in the past year, feel free to click on their names and see what they had to say about themselves.
That is it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.