GoffonRugby: The Big Deal

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A GoffonRugby Opinion Column by Alex GoffBack from Las Vegas, and a few thoughts from this year's US... Read More ...

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A GoffonRugby Opinion Column by Alex GoffThe USA 7s tournament has turned IRB Sevens World Series sc... Read More ...

GoffoRugby: Letting the Children Play

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A GoffonRugby Opinion Column by Alex GoffOne of the driving tenets of how rugby should be operated ... Read More ...

GoffonRugby: Adhering to Basic Principles

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A GoffonRugby Opinion Column by Alex GoffOverwhelmed.Sometimes you feel that way around the turn of ... Read More ...


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WNT Coach Hopefuls Ready for Camp

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Pete Steinberg and Richard Ashfield will join USA Rugby’s lineup of coaches at the Women’s Natio... Read more...

Healthy Boyd Ready To Challenge For 7s Spot

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USA Men’s 7s Head Coach Al Caravelli has some decisions to make when he convenes his next team cam... Read more...

Basauri Grateful for Chance

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 By Pat CliftonInaki Basauri returned to the National Team this fall after a two-year hiatus. The ... Read more...

WNT Coach Search Continues

As 2011 approaches, it’s time for the Women’s National Team to start rebuilding its pool of play... Read more...

What's Next For USA 7s?

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Dragged somewhat down to earth the USA 7s team flies home today to regroup for Wellington and Las Ve... Read more...



Unafraid to Break Down Barriers

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By Jackie Finlan Amy Rusert has always been willing to take on obstacles and break from the mold. Sh... Read more...

College Competitions Committees Seated

Decisions on competitions at the college level will be in the hands of USA Rugby’s Men’s and Wom... Read more...

USA Rugby Targets College 7s Competition

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Perhaps no newly-formed college committee has more on its plate than the Men’s Competitions Commi... Read more...

Transparency, Standardization Key For Eligibility Committee

Each of the USA Rugby’s four new committees have a lengthy to do list, but some tasks rank higher ... Read more...

College Management Council Seated

The first major piece of the restructuring of the administration of college rugby is now in place as... Read more...

Glendale Wins DC Ruggerfest PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 May 2011 14:51
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Glendale, CO – The Glendale Raptors Women swept the Capital City Ruggerfest this past weekend, going undefeated and winning the championship match in the Washington, DC tournament. Glendale entered the top tier of competition along with Beantown, Chicago North Shore, USA Rugby South All Stars, Pittsburgh and tournament hosts the Washington DC Furies.

On April 30th, the Glendale Raptors traveled to Washington DC to participate in Capital City Ruggerfest, hosted by the Washington DC Furies. The Raptors left DC undefeated, taking the championship match against hosts DC on Sunday with a 39-0 shut-out.

In the first match against a young Beantown side, the Raptors dominated immediately, as a quick ball movement from the first kick-off reception saw fast and powerful wing Andrea Prusinski to the tryzone. Beantown's follow up kick-off dribbled into touch, and Glendale attacked quickly again off the ensuing lineout, when Taryn Brennan took a quick pop pass, split the defense, and went 40 meters for the try. As the game progressed the Raptor onslaught continued, and the developing Beantown side was unable to compete. The final score was Glendale 43, Beantown 0.

Scoring were Andrea Prusinski – 5; Taryn Brennan - 5 (1 try); Hannah Birge - 5 (1 try); Sara Edwards - 5 (1 try), 8 (4 conv.); Nina Safane - 10 (2 tries); and Maia Johnson - 5 (1 try).

Next Glendale took on the Washington DC Furies, who brought a different strategy to the pitch than Beantown, repeatedly switching the ball back inside to pull in the defense and look for gaps at the hinge. But the Raptors hard work at developing a defensive pattern to neutralize this type of an attack paid off. The Furies’ efforts pushed the Raptors, but their defense held.

After several minutes of back and forth, Glendale was awarded a scrum deep in Furies territory. The ball was moved wide to Bethany Zick-Wilson, who popped up post tackle to Bethany Humphrey, who scampered into the try zone between two covering defenders.  Later into the first half, the Furies looked to kick. Wing Liz Mick quickly moved the ball from left to right, and fullback Hannah Birge reversed the direction of attack by quickly moving to lock Jill Reilly, who was brilliantly positioned. Reilly hit outside center Bethany Zick-Wilson, who attacked the original space, fending off two defenders, to trot beneath the posts. Glendale's third try of the match occurred when a series of phases resulted in a tackle contest close to the sidelines and in front of DC's try line. Sara Edwards picked up the ball and found a small hole on the blind side of the breakdown. Glendale's final try against DC occurred at the end of the match, when center Zick-Wilson changed her angle to intercept a DC pass just in front of the try zone, touching down for her second try of the match. The final score was Glendale 29, DC Furies 0.

Scoring were Bethany Humphrey - 5 (1 try); Bethany Zick-Wilson - 10 (2 tries); and Sara Edwards - 5 (try), 3 (pk), 6 (3 conv.).

The Raptor’s win/loss record and points after pool play put them into day two as the #1 seed. Facing off against CR2 rivals Chicago North Shore provided the Raptors with a new challenge. North Shore's large, powerful forwards continually challenged the Raptors fringe defense, forcing multiple tackler involvement. Scrums were dominated by North Shore, and the mid-westerners driving lineout proved a huge challenge to the Raptors forwards. Ultimately the Raptor’s speed, fitness and agility prevailed.  Wing Andrea Prusinksi struck first, slicing through the North Shore defense and fighting through a huge tackle to hang onto the ball for the try. North Shore followed up immediately with a big drive off of a lineout, but they failed to convert. Glendale's Edwards slotted a penalty kick in the first half to extend their lead 10-5, but the team was unable to expand that lead until midway into the second half, when Zick-Wilson and Prusinski connected through a North Shore tackle and Pruskinski touched down. Safane and Edwards added to the try count later in the match to put victory out of reach for North Shore, and to earn a berth in the finals. The final score was Glendale 29, Chicago North Shore 5.

Scoring were Andrea Prusinski - 10 (2 trys); Nina Safane – 5; and Sara Edwards - 5 (1 try), 3 (1pk), 6 (3 conversions).

The final match between Glendale and the DC Furies featured fast breaks, a multitude of hotly contested battles for possession, ferocious defense and exciting positional matchups. DC took control of the match immediately, pressuring Glendale's try zone and looking to strike with Eagle Ida Bernstein, but powerful Andrea Prusinksi, matched up against Bernstein, did well to contain the Syracuse track star and tie up the ball.

"We knew that if we were going to be successful we had to contain Ida, and Andrea was the right woman for the job," said Raptor Coach Lisa Rosen.

The first try came when Glendale stretched DC's defense to cross one side of the field and quickly reverse directions with Jessica Lucia and Hannah Birge setting up Sara Edwards at fullback to burst through the Furies defense and dive into the tryzone.  The Furies turned to a kicking game to pin the Raptors in their end, but savvy counter-attacking by the Glendale forwards saw Nina Safane explode through a small gap on the blind side. The Raptors quick forwards raced down the sidelines, with speedy Taryn Brennan drawing the cover defense to the sidelines, opening up space for Bethany Zick-Wilson, whose angle change took her straight through the defense and under the posts for the Raptors second try of the game.

After dogged goal line defense, Glendale was able to force a turnover and the mobile forwards jetted down the sideline, repeatedly offloading to keep everyone in motion. The final offload put the ball in the hands of Bethany Zick-Wilson, who again changed her angle to beat the covering fullback and score beneath the posts. An additional penalty kick by Sara Edwards sent Glendale into the half up 17-0 over the hosts.

Re-energized after the half, the Raptors returned to the pitch and continued to battle for every position. When wing Hannah Birge was corner-flagged just shy of the goal-line, the Raptors again stretched the defense, letting Zick-Wilson connect with Prusinski, who dotted down for her third try of the game. Moments later, Zick-Wilson slipped through the DC defense, and touched down for her second try of the match.

As the ensuing Furies kicked off, a spear tackle to Katie Janus brought the game to a pause. With a Furies player in the sin bin, Glendale quickly capitalized. Janus snagged a loose ball and dished to flanker Heidi Bauer, who attacked with Prusinksi to her right. Bauer carefully cut off the defender and passed to Prusinksi, who took the space in front of her, and with a last minute angle change, dodged two defenders to score her third try of the match, ending the game with the 2011 Ruggerfest Championship. The final score was Glendale 39, Furies 0.

Scoring were Sara Edwards - 5 (1 try), 3 (1 PK), 6 (3 conv.); Bethany Zick Wilson – 10;  and Andrea Prusinski – 15.

"I was thrilled with the team’s performance throughout the tournament,” said Rosen after the final match. “We've been working very hard on creativity in both offense and defense, but we've still got a lot to work on. We missed several scoring opportunities through the course of the tournament, and our passing has to become more precise, but this was a great way to see where we've come over the course of the season. The Raptors were able to mix up their roster, with athletes who played on both our D1 and D2 side.”

“There were many players at home who couldn't make the trip, so this opportunity to develop our depth was great,” Rosen continued. “Over the course of the four-game tournament, three different players stepped in at fullback, four at scrumhalf, three at 8, and five at the wing position. Bauer and Janus put serious time in at the front row for the first time, and Janus was particularly impressive.”

"We intended to bring 24 players, but injuries start to take their toll as the season winds down,” concluded Rosen. “Having players with the versatility to step in wherever needed was key to our success in DC. Great thanks to the Furies for putting on the event and giving us the tough competition we've been looking for.”

Bethany Zick-Wilson, the Raptors captain, and scorer of four of the Raptors tries had this to say about the experience.

"Playing in fast-paced, high competition tournaments like this is valuable to our development as a team and is really the type of environment in which we thrive,” said Bethany Zick-Wilson, Raptor captain. “I was proud to see the entire Raptors squad step up and play cohesively as a team. In the past, we have shown plenty of athleticism, but now we’re starting to supplement that athleticism with team chemistry and creativity.”

“We've been working on a lot of new tactical skills over last two seasons since Coach Lisa Rosen’s arrival,” she continued. “Specifically, Rosen has taught us how make the most of our athleticism to gain possession at the tackle contest through scissoring, clamp-tackling, and quick counter rucking. This weekend, we had an opportunity to hone in on and further develop those skills."

Next the Raptors travel to Albuquerque, NM, to play the Atomic Sisters in a friendly to close out the spring developmental season.

Girls U19 Top 20 - April 18, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 April 2011 16:12

Photo below: Lakewood (with ball), see here during the 2009 Girls U19 national championship, rejoins the lineup after defeating Ohio state champion St. Joseph's Academy twice. (Brad Davis photo)

Much of the movement on the Girls U19 national ranking occurred due to the addition of unranked teams - most notably Lakewood (Ohio) - and some teams that have been winning the last few weeks actually slid in the lineup. Former national finalist Lakewood has pushed everyone below #6 down a spot and has exacted revenge against reigning Ohio State Champion St. Joseph's Academy with two wins (19-12, 20-5) for the Ohio seed to Midwest Championships.

"We are looking really focused and determined to prove the critics wrong," Lakewood coach Andre Bruwer said. "We have been winning our games by over 80 points to nothing, and our only loss so far was to Ohio State University, who beat us 12-27."

Lakewood assumed St. Joseph's rank but has the potential to gain even more ground as it looks toward the Midwest Championship in two weeks. Kettle Morraine (Wisc.) and Lakewood are the favorites to face Divine Savior in the territorial final, and we believe Lakewood could beat the 27-3 scoreline that Kettle Morraine posted against DSHA in last fall's Wisconsin state championship.

Also new to the lineup are Beaverton (Ore.), which edged Canby (Ore.) 10-7, and Karns Blue (Tenn.), which defeated Maryville (Tenn.) 12-5. There are now three teams from Tennessee on the rankings, including reigning state champ Ravenwood, and several teams on the watch list, so a couple more weeks of play will likely see a replacement.

Fallbrook (Calif.) and Kent (Wash.) are undefeated in their respective leagues. Southern California has entered its playoff season and has seen Fullerton, Back Bay and ICEF move onto the semifinals. There's no reason Fallbrook shouldn't secure the top SoCal seed, although they were nicely challenged by Fullerton a few weeks back, winning 17-3. That performance is why Fullerton still clings to a top 20 slot, although it's a tenuous grip considering Back Bay beat them 15-5 (Why isn't Back Bay on the list? Fallbrook crushed them 53-7).

Kent lost to Fallbrook during an early season tournament match, but that aside, the Washington squad is looking as strong as ever. Last weekend, the Crusaders played their second game against Budd Bay - a match that was aired on local television - impressed viewers with an additional 20 points to the first match's scoreline. Kent has also beat the top Oregon teams - Canby, Beaverton, West Linn - in friendlies, and has every reason to believe it'll advance deep into playoffs. Unfortunately for the perennial powerhouse it'll once again be more difficult than it need be. The Pacific Coast powers-that-be amended this year's playoff structure, and Kent won't have the option to play for the top seed in the region. The territory has decided that the Pacific Coast #1 seed will be contested between Northern California #1 and Utah #1, and the second seed will go to the victor of Washington State #1 v Northern California #2 (stay tuned for more debate).

Nor Cal will contest its quarterfinals this weekend, and while league-leader Mother Lode (5-0) beat reigning national champion Sacramento earlier in the season, the rebuilding Amazons has started posting scary scores reminiscent of last year. Sacramento may be young, but rugby's in its blood, and a Mother Lode v Sacramento rematch could see very different results.

Slipping one spot is EPRU's West Carroll, which played a close 34-26 win against unranked North Bay a couple of weeks ago. The Maryland team was down 14-0 at half but rallied with 34 straight points to hold onto the win. Last weekend capped the team's final league match in which its B side scored 34 second-half points for the big win.

Last year's Northeast represent at nationals, Portland (Maine) has been playing college sides in preparation for the NRU championships set to occur in early May. The team's ambitious schedule has afforded it an 0-4 record, but the only blowout occured against Boston University, 60-10. Early indications show that Fairport (NY) and New York will be Portland's top competition during NRUs.

Several teams mentioned earlier are on our watch list - New York, which won the Met NY, Back Bay (Calif.) and North Bay (Md.). We're also keeping our eye on Lowland, which broke took the lead in Utah's standings after last weekend's 22-5 win over Snow Canyon, and Orchard Park, which fell to Fairport by a mere three points.

GIRLS U19 TOP 25 - APRIL 18, 2011*

1 (1) Summit (Colo.) (8-0). Idle

2 (2) DSHA (Wisc.) (7-1) (10-1). Defeated Rockford 65-0, Vernon 41-0, Oak Creek 80-0

3 (3) Fallbrook (Calif.) (5-0). Forfeit win over SOC in SoCal quarterfinals. Closest game: 17-3 win v Fullerton (17)

4 (4) Kent (Wash.) (5-0). Defeated Budd Bay 45-0.

5 (5) Sacramento Amazons (Calif.) (4-1). Defeated Elsie Allen 94-0, Davis 94-5

6 (unr) Lakewood (Ohio) (10-0). Defeated St. Joe's 19-12, then 20-5 for Ohio seed to Midwest Championship

7 (6) Kettle Morraine (Wisc.) (6-2) (7-3). Defeated Vernon 32-10, lost to DI College UW-Milwaukee 37-0

8 (10) Mother Lode (Calif.) (5-0). Defeated Davis 37-0, Alameda 10-0, Bishop O'Dowd 28-0

9 (8) West Carroll (Md.) (5-0). Defeated Cumberland Valley 85-5; Closest game: 34-26 win v North Bay

10 (9) Portland (ME) (0-4). All college games; only blowout was to Boston University 60-10

11 (7) St. Joseph's Academy (Ohio) (4-2). Lost to Lakewood 19-12, then 20-5

12 (unr) Beaverton (Ore.) (5-0) (5-1). Defeated defending Oregon State Champ Canby 10-7; lost to Washington leader Kent 29-0

13 (11) Canby (Ore.) (4-1) (4-2). Lost to Beaverton 10-7 and Kent 30-3

14 (13) Brookfield (Wisc.) (4-4) (7-4). Defeated Muskego 84-0, St. Louis Sirens 43-0, Kansas City 27-0

15 (12) Douglas County (Colo.) (6-2). Idle

16 (14) Ravenwood (Tenn.) (5-0). Defeated Riverdale 43-17, Independence 49-7, Blackman 64 -7, Siegel 34-17, Brentwood 34-7

17 (15) Fairfax (Va.) (2-0). Defeated Langley 20-0, Western Loudon 38-12

18 (unr) Karns Blue (Tenn) (3-0). Defeated Maryville 12-5

19 (16) Maryville (Tenn.) (4-1). Lost to Karns Blue 12-5

19 (19) Fox Chapel (Pa.) (4-0). Defeated Rocky Grove twice 39-5, 49-17; and Mon River 105-0, 85-5

20 (17) Fullerton (Calif.) (3-2). Lost to Back Bay 15-5, Fullerton 17-3, won SoCal quarterfinal ORCA 58-5

20 (18) Fairport (NY) (2-0). Defeated Orchard Park 10-7, City Honors 45-5

*Match scores aren't necessarily most recent games, but most indicative of season success.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 April 2011 16:46
Pools Announced For Adelaide PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 February 2011 12:26

The USA lost to Samoa in the final of the 2010 Adelaide 7s, James Baker photoThe pools and match schedule have been announced for the Australian International Rugby Sevens in Adelaide, the sixth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The tournament will be played at the city's historic Adelaide Oval on 2-3 April, one week after the Hong Kong Sevens, with hosts Australia drawn in a tough pool alongside Fiji, USA and Tonga.

At the halfway stage in the HSBC Sevens World Series, New Zealand and England are tied on 80 points at the top of the standings. Fiji and Samoa lie just 16 points behind on 64, the most recent Cup champions South Africa are still well in contention on 56 and Australia head the rest of the chasing pack on 36 heading for Hong Kong and Adelaide.

Joint Series leaders New Zealand and England head Pools A and B respectively in Adelaide. Eight-time World Series winners New Zealand face matches on day one against Kenya, Wales and the first of the regional qualifiers, Cook Islands.

England missed out on the Cup final for the first time this season in Las Vegas and will be looking to kick-start their season in Pool B with opening matches against Argentina, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.

USA Sevens runners-up Fiji head Pool C and face three tough matches against host nation Australia, USA and Tonga.

Having won the Cup title in Las Vegas, their first since winning in Adelaide in April 2009, South Africa head Pool D. The resurgant Boks face defending Adelaide and World Series champions Samoa as well as France and Japan.

“The Adelaide Oval is a special place for the teams to compete, steeped as it is in history and tradition, and the event there also has a habit of illustrating just how competitive Rugby Sevens has become, with Kenya and the USA reaching the Cup final in the last two years,” commented IRB Sevens Manager, Beth Coalter.

“Interestingly, neither of the two sides currently leading the World Series, New Zealand and England, have ever won there so we can expect more drama and excitement at the Adelaide Oval. The weekend is sure to go a long way towards shaping the Series one week after the events of Hong Kong.”

Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 16:54
Unafraid to Break Down Barriers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 18:07

Rusert with the Colorado College women's teamBy Jackie Finlan

Amy Rusert has always been willing to take on obstacles and break from the mold. She wasn’t always a rugby player, but maybe she always had some of the spirit of the game.

Now a confessed rugby addict, Rusert wasn't always rugby-obsessed. She played DI field hockey at Penn State, but then transferred to Virginia Tech, which had dropped the program. Understandably, Rusert wasn’t happy, and she decided to do something about it. At Tech, she helped initiate a Title IX class action suit that eventually settled out of court and eventually led to the addition of fast-pitch softball and lacrosse to the college's athletic department.

"A couple of years ago, I was watching my kid brother play lacrosse in college, and I saw a young woman on the sideline wearing a Virginia Tech lacrosse sweatshirt," Rusert remembered. "I almost openly wept, and wanted to tell her how happy I was for her and how her opportunity came to be.”

It was an inspiring experience for Rusert, who went on to work for the Women's Sports Foundation, and the national governing bodies (NGBs) for Women's Professional Fast Pitch, US Field Hockey and USA Rugby. Her involvement in the latter evolved when she moved to Minneapolis when she began working for the professional softball NGB. In her spare time, she picked up with an inline field hockey league, in which some off-season Twin Cities Amazons were also dabbling. Always on the lookout for potential converts, the Zons convinced Rusert to give rugby a try.

"I fell in love with it," Rusert reflected on her first rugby experience, although the now-Colorado resident has always been exposed to the sport. Her uncle played and her aunt helped found the Chicago Women's team. It was still an adjustment for her family, her grandmother in particular, as she transitioned from a more demure sport played in skirts and yielding injuries like bruised shins and broken fingers at its worst. But they came around once they saw how important rugby became to Rusert.

As her love for the game grew, Rusert moved to Colorado to work with USA Rugby and became the first full-time staffer dedicated to collegiate development. She helped start the emerging sports initiative with the NCAA in 1996, with good friend Becky Carlson and Kristin Richeimer really putting in the yeoman’s effort in recent years. She helped found the SheWolves and and still thinks about picking up with her old friends on Black Ice, but her involvement is primarily coaching these days. Rusert is the head coach of the women's Colorado College team.

She is also the backs coach for the men's team.

She began coaching the women in 2005 when the former women's coach expressed some concern over his waning availability and the men's team was coachless. When he departed, she joined the women's team staff, recommended a new head coach for the men, became the men's backs coach, and now both teams now hold joint positional practices.

"Colorado College is run by committee, and it dovetails perfectly so we can leverage resources, field space, etc.," Rusert explained. "There's no negative feedback. Colorado College is an elite liberal arts school with 1,900 students, and the kids are open minded. They understand the bigger picture. As a result, we get more support from the athletic department and our active alumni association, which recently established an endowment. It's for the greater good."

Not to say that Rusert doesn't encounter some startle when the male athletes see their female coach. "We rely on crossover athletes, and sometimes the men, when they realize I'm a coach, have a quizzical look on their faces, but that lasts for all of two minutes. They realize it is what it is, and there's no criticism."

The joint practices work well, especially for the women. "The men and women will pack down against each other, and we run joint positional sessions in the backs," Rusert said. "It's a lot of open stuff, not a lot of contact. The pace of the women increases dramatically. There are a couple of women who can keep up with the guys, and I'll throw them in there, but otherwise I have them mirror the guys."

For Rusert and husband Scott Mears, who coaches the men and is forwards coach for the women, the duo has to manage their coaching philosophies and styles according to gender. "It's a learning curve for both of us," Rusert said. "We have to navigate our coaching philosophies and sometimes we're at opposite ends of the field. The women aren't as prone to tears as much anymore, and they giggle more than men, but they're laser-focused and super coachable. What I enjoy about the men is their ‘Yes, ma'am, whatever you say’ philosophy. You keep it short, sweet and succinct with them. You have to be unflappable about occasional language, but boys are boys and sometimes you have to let that go. But they're pretty respectful and consummate hard workers."

The men's team was recently added to RugbyMag.com's DII national rankings, an achievement that they're really excited about. They're experiencing greater success considering their long established history and organization, but Rusert expects the women to follow suit in the next couple of years. Led by captains Kat McLaughlin and Casey Herrington, they're already progressed from a bottom tier team to one in contention for the ERRFU title, although Mesa State (4-0) looks like the favorite. The CIPP rosters have continually grown, the women have sent three players to the West U23s and as many as two dozen to ERRFU's U23 and U19 teams, and that growth is a huge testament to the program that Rusert and her husband have built. It's also a testament to the Eastern Rockies union, of which Rusert is a huge fan.

"I love the culture of ERRFU, especially on the college women side of the house," Rusert said. "There's a perpetual endorsement of each other's programs. We have a fantastic report with [D1] Air Force and scrimmage them often. We want to raise everybody's boat, and the select sides want to see kids come from smaller schools. There is so much respect for other coaches in ERRFU, and you don't see that in a lot of unions. I'm so grateful."

But while Rusert is wholly focused on Colorado College's success, she always has an eye on the national landscape, as her past with NGBs would suggest. She's been consulting with USA Rugby since 2004 and helped launched www.varsityrugby.org last fall, picking up where USAR left off with the NCAA. At varsityrugby, Rusert and Carlson are primarily engaged in the immediate growth of girls’ and women’s program with Title IX and supplying information to groups interested in starting varsity programs or simply growing the game, but they also have many supporters in the boys' and men's game, and don't rule out any opportunity to help launch varsity rugby programs.

"There's so much opportunity," Rusert said. "We're reflecting on opportunities missed, opportunities that people didn't realize were open at the time. In 1992, when the Supreme Court put teeth in Title IX, there was an opportunity to add a lot of women's programs, but rugby wasn't ready. The announcement of rugby in the Rio Olympic Games was another watershed moment, and the US rugby community could have seized that moment [to add new programs], but it's never too late. There are salient moments in rugby history when we need to capitalize.

"I love the grassroots level," Rusert said. "I'm good if I never return to union positions, but from a larger advocacy point, you can't afford to burnout."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 18:13
USA 7s Coach Leaves Day Job PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 February 2011 12:24

USA 7s Head Coach Al Caravelli has left his day job at Hewlett-Packard.

Caravelli has done so in order to preserve his ability to coach the USA team, and his choice follows that of many USA players, who have left or passed up jobs that conflict with rugby.

“It’s not a sacrifice,” Caravelli said of his situation. “It’s a choice we make. Several players have given up six-figure jobs to pursue the dreams of representing and playing for their country. Now we can add pursuing that Olympic dream of a Gold Medal”

Caravelli was a vice president at Mercury Software before it was bought out by HP. He remained with HP, although over time, as the USA 7s team demanded more of his time, he had to relinquish responsibility.

Recent turnover in the HP upper echelon led Caravelli to conclude that if he wanted to remain the USA 7s team coach, he needed to move on. He has taken a job with Jive Software.

This story highlights the issues surrounding payment for USA coaches. Caravelli still expects to hold a second job while coaching the 7s Eagles, and in fact only the USA men’s 15s head coach position has ever been what you could call a full-time wage.

Other National Governing Bodies of similar size to USA Rugby are able to pay their men’s and women’s head coaches six-figure salaries. (RUGBYMag.com’s survey of nine different NGBs revealed an average budget of $9 million, which is comparable to USA Rugby’s budget, and an average national team head coach salary for men or women at $162,000.)

However, it’s worth pointing out that none of these NGBs have four national team head coaches (15s men, 15s women, 7s men, 7s women).

Next up for Caravelli will be the USA camp and the tournaments in Hong Kong and Adelaide.

“I have no regrets," explained the coach. "The executive management team at Jive Software and my peers are very supportive of my coaching. They made the decision easy to leave HP."

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Glendale Wins DC Ruggerfest

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Management Council's, Committees' To Do Lists

The seating of the 11-person College Management Council is the first step in building...

College News | Monday, 28 February 2011

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Woming Gets Win Out of Ashes of Blowout

Two weeks ago, the University of Wyoming lost 109-7 to California, in a game...

College Premier League | Monday, 28 February 2011

Oklahoma Splits With Tulsa

Oklahoma University split two matches with Tulsa RFC Saturday, ruing a slow start in the...

College Premier League | Monday, 28 February 2011

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Arizona Over UNM 63-19

Eight University of Arizona players scored tries as the Wildcats cruised to a 63-19...

College Premier League | Monday, 28 February 2011

UBC Gets One Back From St. Mary's

The University of British Columbia got some measure of revenge over the visiting St. Mary's...

College Premier League | Monday, 28 February 2011