Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alex Magleby Returns to the Olympic Training Center, and Other Rugby News

Interesting news coming out of Boulder Colorado this week, when USA Rugby announced that former US Men's 7s team coach and Dartmouth head coach Alex Magleby will be joining USA Rugby's high performance staff.

Magleby's new role is officially titled. National Development Director for the Men's Eagles Sevens.  The role entails providing support to Matt Hawkins and the men's team, mainly by finding and identifying new and up and coming talent throughout the United States. Magleby will also work to better define the national development pathway, and create tangible deliverable that suit the players and coaches.

Alex Magleby is arguably the most successful sevens coach in US history.  He's racked up two CRC Championships as head coach of Dartmouth.  He then parlayed that into a stint as the Eagles Men's head coach, where the Eagles completed their most successful season in recent memory during the 2012/13 season, and secured core status on the IRB Sevens circuit for the team.

While serving as head coach of the Eagles Magleby was a big force behind the creation of the OTC's (NYC, North East, Tiger, to name a few) that are already paying dividends for the Eagles.  Mags has been a driving force behind player development in the United States, and he understands that it's simply too much for the US Eagles coach to run their program in Chula Vista and be on the road consistently scouting talent.

It is also believed that Magleby will be responsible for some fundraising efforts in his new role as well.  Part of the development path Mags wanted to create while he was coaching the Eagles was having more developmental teams traveling and playing in elite level tournaments. Current Eagles coach Matt Hawkins also agrees with this format and we saw the Falcons travel to several international tournaments during the fall.  However, paying for these tournaments cost money.  Often times they simply are not accounted for in the operating budget for the men's team (Should the be? That's a discussion for another time), and outside sources need to be acquired.

Another announcement coming out of Boulder is Billy Millard is signing on in a similar development role for the men's 15's team.  Currently Millard is the 15's attack coach, as well as head coach for the Junior All-Americans.  Much like Magleby, Millard will work with the exisiting academies, and all-star teams to identify up and coming 15's players from around the country.  He will also be responsible for developing and expanding on the player development chart USA Rugby laid out last year.

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