Hawkins named Men's Eagles Sevens head coach

Hawkins named Men's Eagles Sevens head coach

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby announced today Matt Hawkins will take over as Men’s Eagles Sevens head coach with a two-year contract, replacing Alex Magleby at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

“We wanted experience on the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series Circuit, and Matt obviously has several years’ experience on the circuit and has been part of the squad for a long time,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville said. “The Series is very unique in many ways; it’s incredibly challenging. Matt understands the demands of the circuit and the demands of the year.”

As an Eagle, Hawkins played in 37 rounds of the Sevens World Series, scoring 56 tries and 280 points. He captained the Eagles during their most successful campaigns in 2013, winning the Plate at Tokyo Sevens and Glasgow Sevens. Hawkins also led the team in their fight to be amongst the core teams for the 2013-14 Sevens World Series as they look ahead to qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

“My approach to the Sevens program ever since I first joined way back when in 2006 was: I want to do anything I can in my capacity to help the program be better and be more successful,” Hawkins said. “Whatever that means, I’m happy to seek out that role and perform that role. This is that next role for me and I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and look forward to it.”

Hawkins has coached San Diego State University and works with Serevi Rugby as the director of California. After sustaining an injury in 2009, Hawkins also helped coach Belmont Shore Sevens during their run of two Club Sevens National Championships in three years in 2009 and 2011.

“I’ve had a lot of coaching roles in the past five or six years, but within that I’ve had a pretty decent leadership role with the Eagles over the past three or four years,” Hawkins said. “That’s allowed me to fall into that role quite a bit and it’s something I enjoy. I like doing it as part of the team, it’s something I’ve done naturally and it’s something I’ll be allowed to continue doing on a full-time basis.”

With the 2013-14 Sevens World Series starting in Australia in October, Hawkins will look to hit the ground running immediately with scouting opportunities at Serevi Rugby Camps and the 2013 Fly Emirates Men’s Club Sevens National Championship.

“If there are people who stand out, I definitely want to get them in here as soon as I can and see how they fit into what we’re doing,” Hawkins said. “There’s been a progression over the course of the past two years ever since we’ve been contracted. I’ve been a part of it and have seen it develop, so I understand it, and now I’ve got to take that and tweak it to what I think it needs to be. The biggest thing is keeping the continuity and the consistency we’ve had.”

Magleby joined the Eagles as head coach for the final four rounds of the 2011-12 Sevens World Series and amassed a 23-2-48 record during his tenure of 73 matches (not including the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens).

“[Magleby] is a really analytical guy and he understands that part of the game well,” Hawkins said. “I think he created a good team culture amongst the guys, so I want to expand on that. I think Mags is a great guy, we’ve spent a lot of time together and learned a lot together. It was a great experience working with him and he’s one of the better coaches I’ve had in the past.”

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Comments (9)

  • Guest - Jaron

    Best of luck to him. He seems to know what he's doing and being a great player usually translates into being a great coach.

  • Guest - Skeptical

    Not a huge fan of Hawkins as a player or a coach, but it makes sense. He is a cheaper option than the guys like Friday and Treu. He also knows what he's getting into-he's seen the challenges the team faces, he knows the resources and the support that the team has and more importantly doesn't have. He won't butt heads with Melville. He has connections to the Tiger folks, so he's keyed in to the developmental systems already in place. I sure hope this works out.

  • Guest - Rugby Analyst

    In reply to: Guest - Skeptical

    Best decision ever made. If you do the research the coaches you mentioned are amazed that the USA Rugby had made a wise decision.

  • Guest - Ed P

    Great choice. There was some stiff competition with world class coaches in the running, but the decision needed to consider all the dynamics of the USA program.

  • Guest - steve

    In reply to: Guest - Ed P

    And what dynamics would you be talking of Ed.

  • Guest - Joe

    Would love to see his Coaching Resume. This will be another mistake by Nigel! Tolkin is 0 now and 5 and Melville is more interested in hiring another puppet than he is about winning. USA Rugby is quite the joke!

  • Guest - steve

    In reply to: Guest - Joe

    Agree, Melville will go down as the worst thing to ever happen to rugby in this country.

  • Guest - steve

    Horrible decision! results will show it. Is he going to select himself as well? No wonder we are in the position we are in. Player coaches don't work!

  • Guest - Todd

    Great decision & a well earned promotion. Congratulations Matt. Notice I said "earned", because this was earned! No substitute for experience & Matt does great things for rugby in this country.
    From High School through Collegiate and his own national level schedule, he is everywhere working on building depth. Guys like Matt are the catalyst for the implementations that will strengthen & develop rugby in the U.S for everyones benefit.