by Nigel Melville
Nigel Melville Direct
Alexander Magleby has been named head coach of the USA Men’s Sevens team following the resignation of Al Caravelli yesterday (Wednesday February 29). The incoming coach will lead the team through the last four stops of the 2011-2012 HSBC Sevens World Series.
An open application process for the head coach position will follow the conclusion of the Series in May.
Magleby will take the reins immediately to prepare the USA for the Hong Kong Sevens tournament that kicks off on Friday March 23.
“Alex is well-prepared to lead the Eagles and I think he’ll bring a fresh perspective on where the team stands now and where it needs to be,” said Nigel Melville, USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Operations.
Melville coached the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans on a New Zealand Tour in 2008 and had Magleby as his forwards coach. “Alex is very positive and clear about what he expects from his players on and off the field,” Melville said.
A seasoned leader, Magleby has been head coach of the Men’s Collegiate All-Americans – the elite university-level developmental program in the USA – since 2009. He led the All-Americans to a 2-1 record over the New Zealand Universities in a three-match series last year. Magleby also coached the first-ever Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Sevens team in 2011, a program designed to help prepare athletes for the senior men’s team and the Olympics.
A Dartmouth College alumnus, he has coached his alma mater and the Ivy League powerhouse since 2001. Dartmouth’s sevens team won the College Rugby Championship Invitational last summer, defeating Army in a thrilling final.
The incoming coach also has an impressive playing career. He was on the USA Men’s Sevens team from 2000-2005 and captained the Eagles in the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens. He also has four caps in fifteens.
With the perspective of a former international, the new coach’s priorities are clear and they begin with an approach to the game that transcends the ‘Xs and Os’ of a game plan.
“It starts with a responsibility to our rugby community – we will play rugby that will make our countrymen proud. Full stop. We’ll focus on our country’s doctrines of hard work, creativity, entrepreneurialism, grit, energy, and a will to succeed no matter the odds,” Magleby said.
Magleby will take over a USA team that has struggled so far this season, going 7-19, tallying a 26% winning percentage and sliding to 13th on the World Series circuit. The new coach will look to making the rest of the season count.
“We’ll train to adapt with conditions, good and bad, and continue to grow with each experience. We will be fervently committed to improving and growing as a group,” Magleby said.
As coach of the All-Americans, Magleby has worked with and played a role in selecting and developing several current Eagles including Blaine Scully, Colin Hawley, Peter Tiberio, Rocco Mauer, and Zack Test.
On the talent he has on the USA team, Magleby was clear about where the team stands.
“In some areas we’ll hit the reset button, but for the most part it’s a team with a lot of promise. The platform is there to build something quite special,” Magleby said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of it. It’s an awesome responsibility we carry forward.”
With an impressive resume as player, coach and administrator, Nigel David Melville took over as CEO and President of Rugby Operations of USA Rugby, the National Governing Body of the sport in America, in 2006. In addition to his full time job promoting the sport in the U.S., Melville has launched his own blog, Nigel Melville Direct, to further the discussion and his passion for what it will take to make the U.S. a great rugby playing nation.
CLICK HERE to read more on Nigel Melville
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