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."