March 22, 2016
Richie Walker Named USA Women’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach
Photo: Richie Walker
USA Rugby announced today that Richie Walker will lead the Women’s Eagles Sevens program through the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games following Jules McCoy’s release from the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Center.
While USA Rugby did not elaborate on McCoy’s release, her contributions to rugby and to the United States are appreciated.
Walker was an Assistant Coach with Ric Suggitt throughout the previous Eagles head coach’s tenure. He joined the team on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series from 2012-13 through 2015. He is knowledgeable of the program at the OTC and the player pool, and is viewed as an excellent coach to lead the program to the Olympics in Rio.
Most recently he was appointed to coach Southern California Youth Rugby’s elite girls Griffins program. He regularly travels nationally and internationally for ATAVUS Academy camps. He also scouts potential Women’s Eagles Pathway candidates and has coached national development teams in tournaments.
USA Rugby Director of Performance said “Richie is an obvious choice to move the team towards the goals laid out for Rio. We need minimal disruptions moving forward, and Richie and the team have been a capable combination previously, both via development tours and formerly overseeing the skill improvements in the player pool at the Olympic Training Center.”
The Eagles qualified for the Olympics in June as undefeated champions of the 2015 NACRA Sevens. NACRA has since changed its name to Rugby Americas North.
They Eagles then earned a Silver Medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
The HSBC 2015-16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series third leg, the Atlanta 7s, will be held April 8-9 in Kennesaw, Georgia. The team enters in eighth place and hopes to rise in the standings after a fourth place finish in Brazil.
While coaching changes require adjustments, Richie Walker’s familiarity with both the program and athletes, should continue the goal of the team peaking for Rio and a podium finish.