Hawkins steps down as Men's Eagles Sevens coach

Hawkins steps down as Men's Eagles Sevens coach

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Following a program review, Matt Hawkins will step down as head coach of the Men’s Eagles Sevens Thursday, USA Rugby announced.

Hawkins took over as head coach ahead of the 2013-14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series and led the Eagles to a combined 14-2-34 record in nine events. The Eagles won four Shields during the Series and finished 13th with 41 points.

As a player, Hawkins scored 280 points in 38 competitions for the Eagles. He captained the team during the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow and the 2012-13 Series as the Eagles fought to keep core status.

“My career with the sevens program as a player, captain, and coach has been one that will be looked back on with much emotion and pride,” Hawkins said. “Unfortunately I have been asked to step down from my position as Head Coach. There was a real opportunity to make a change and have our program step forward in a new direction that allowed for short- and long-term sustainable success.

“I thank the administration for the opportunity, my staff for their support, and the players for the honor to lead and guide them.”

The goal of the Eagles Sevens program is to take the podium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games. The Eagles will look to qualify for the Olympics during the 2014-15 Sevens World Series.

“I would like to thank Matt for the outstanding contribution he has made to the Eagles Sevens program as both a player and a coach,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville said. “With just under a year to go to Olympic qualification, we want to make sure that we continue to take the program to the next level and to achieve this we felt it was important to make changes.”

The new coaching staff will be announced in the next ten days.

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Comments (34)

  • Guest - Great News!

    This is a good start. Now fire Tolkin and give the Eagles programs a chance to win.

  • Guest - About Time!

    Making Hawkins coach in the first place was a huge mistake and it's about time that they got rid of him. The program has been on a consistent downward spiral ever since Caravelli left. Let's hope that Nigel can make a good decision with this new coaching staff.

  • Guest - MuckrakerRugby

    In reply to: Guest - About Time!

    There's only one good decision that Nigel can make: Resign his position as CEO and go away.

  • Guest - scott

    Somebody get Eric Rush on the phone pronto !@

  • Guest - anonymous

    This is a ridiculous decision. Every program that that needs rebuilding requires a shakeup and Hawkins gave it one. He did not even have a year at the helm to implement the structures and personal he wanted. Who you going to get now? Our odds for going to the Olympics just got a lot worse!

  • Guest - Come On!

    In reply to: Guest - anonymous

    Hawkins was never qualified to be the head coach. Remember his genius decision to be a player/coach? The guy is an meat head and thick as a 2 ton stone. Total moron.

  • Guest - Ant

    He had a go. Not sure if it was the right choice but there was some great performances. Too rare which is why the need for change. Thanks for your service.

  • Guest - Verne Greene

    Like his predecessors, Matt Hawkins couldn't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers.

  • Guest - anonymous

    In reply to: Guest - Verne Greene

    I don't think anyone could do anything in 9 months. What a joke. I pity the next sucker they hire for the job. I hope the board has the balls to make a change at the top and stop using the coaches as scapegoats.

  • Guest - Anna B

    Matt is a gracious, kind, and amazingly talented player and friend to all. Matt inspires the next gen of kids coming up, and is a fantastic encourager and role model. His announced departure saddens us.

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