USA Rugby & Richie Walker
Richie Walker has been an outstanding head coach for the Women’s Eagles Sevens program since he took over as coach prior to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Both in Rio and at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament last month, the team performed well against the best teams in the world, losing to both New Zealand and Australia in close matches.
Walker has been accessible as head coach and has continued to build a cohesive national team. His departure comes as a surprise. This leaves the interim coach and any new coach with two years prior to the Olympics in Japan in 2020.
Prior to Walker’s hiring, the USA had two coaching changes prior to the 2016 Olympics. Walker provided stability to the program and it is hoped that USA Rugby will address a new coach hiring quickly.
In the interim, Chris Brown has been at Chula Vista for some time and interacts regularly with the players. He is a good coach and it is hoped that the transition is smooth before a new coach is named.
For anyone who has met Richie Walker, he is a top-notch person and we wish him well in his new endeavors.
USA Rugby Release
CHULA VISTA, CA – USA Rugby and Richie Walker today announced Walker’s resignation as Head Coach of the Women’s Eagle Sevens. Walker moves on from the position after holding it since 2016. Men’s Sevens Assistant Coach, Chris Brown, will step in as interim Head Coach effective immediately.
USA Rugby General Manager of Women’s High Performance, Emilie Bydwell, noted, “Myself and USA Rugby would like to thank Richie for playing a significant part in the development of the Women’s program these last several years. Richie’s energy, passion, and personality have left a long-lasting legacy on the Women’s National Team programs. We wish him and his family the very best of luck in the next phase of his rugby career.”
Walker added, “I would like to thank USA Rugby for all they have done for me. A tough decision and I wish the next Head Coach all the best with the program.”
Men’s Sevens Assistant Coach, Chris Brown, will assume the role as Interim Head Coach with camp resuming in early September. Brown has been working in Chula Vista with both the Men’s and Women’s programs, having supported skills coaching and physical performance with the Women’s Sevens over the past season.
USA Rugby will immediately begin a process to identify and confirm the permanent successor and look to have the full-time position filled prior to the 2018 Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series opener in Glendale, CO.