September 15, 2015
Ric Suggitt’s Time As USA Rugby Women’s 7s Coach Ends
According to a press release yesterday by USA Rugby, Ric Suggitt is no longer the Head Coach of the USA Women’s 7s. His contract was to end at the end of December, but it was felt that a new coach needed to be in place prior to the World Rugby 7s Series began.
Ric became Head Coach of the team in January, 2010. This past year his team finished 5th in the World Rugby 7s Series, qualified for the Olympics by winning the NACRA 7s and finished second to Canada at the Pan Am Games.
Over the Summer, Ric also became the Head Rugby Coach at the University of Lethbridge. In a University release, Ric states, “the University is looking to build a world class athletic and academic environment and that is something that excites me.” Day to day responsibilities were to be handled by Neil Langervin, the previous Head Coach and current Assistant Coach. Ric was to then assume those responsibilities after the Olympics, but that may change now. I certainly wish him well.
People and organizations have certain expectations for performance. It is apparent that there is an expectation that the USA Women need to improve their level to beat the top teams in the World Series. There is also an expectation for the USA to medal at the Olympics.
We live in a culture that likes winners, and winners draw corporate sponsors. Having a team perceived to be able to compete for an Olympic medal is something that will help support the program.
In a press release by USA Rugby September 14, 2105, Nigel Melville said, “I would like to thank Ric for his hard work and commitment to developing the women’s full time program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. It was not an easy decision to make a change but we have to become increasingly competitive against top-three nations int he world in order to win a medal in Rio and any changes that we need to make have to be made now, not in 2016.”
Prior to the announcement being made, a meeting with the players was held.
A new coach will be announced tomorrow, September 16th.
Mike Friday, Head Coach of the Men’s 7s Eagles, made an immediate impact in the team finishing 5th in the World in the World Rugby 7s Series. This year there are even higher expectations in the Series and at the Olympics.
I would expect the USA Rugby is looking for a coach to make a similar impact for the Women. I certainly hope the new coach is successful and elevates the Women’s standard.