Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins (Martin Seras Lima/USA Rugby)

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.

(From USA Rugby Press Release)