USA Rugby hires former Eagle Jules McCoy to lead the Women's Eagles Sevens into 2016 Olympic Games

BOULDER, Colo. - USA Rugby announced Wednesday former Eagle Jules McCoy will lead the Women's Eagles Sevens into the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Dr. McCoy, a practicing board-certified neurologist, returns to the women's sevens program as full time head coach, a position she held from 2006 to 2009. In her previous four seasons at the helm - all prior to the announcement of rugby sevens entering the Games Program - the Eagles won the Hong Kong 7s, the Dubai 7s, and USA 7s three times, as well as finished fourth at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009.

Jules McCoy"Coach McCoy has worked extensively with our elite as well as developing athletes. She has coached XVs, sevens, women, men, all-star, academy, club, under-23s, with a proven track record of delivering victories under pressure," noted USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby.

"More importantly, Jules is a positive role-model for young women, as a former Eagle athlete, practicing physician, coach, and entrepreneur. Her proven leadership will be welcomed by all in the Eagles Sevens family over the coming days as we build a cohesive team towards Rio."

Following the establishment of several National Development Academies (NDAs) as part of the USA Rugby Olympic Development Academy Program, McCoy helped found American Rugby Pro Training Center. Based in Little Rock, Ark., the first women's-specific NDA has already served as a launching point for several Eagles capped in the 15s game.

From a residency program to high performance camps, McCoy has implemented a successful high performance system not unlike that at the OTC. At the 2015 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship, 12 athletes chosen by McCoy wore ARPTC colors and won six consecutive matches in Des Moines, Iowa, for the championship. Later that month, an ARPTC side finished second at Elite City Sevens, a four-team women's competition held for the first time.

Stints with select sides such as USA South and Tiger Rugby have also provided learning opportunities for McCoy, who herself was a member of the Eagles Sevens team and a long-time captain of the West 7s Select Side.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to share my growth as a coach and a human being with the team," McCoy said. "Rugby in America has come along in leaps and bounds since 2009 and I've seen it from top to bottom."

Within weeks of missing out on a fourth-place finish on the circuit and a subsequent place at Rio 2016, the Eagles swept six matches in Cary, N.C., to win the 2015 NACRA Sevens Championships. The gold-medal performance helped the U.S. qualify as one of 12 teams to compete at the Olympics. The Eagles will meet already-qualified nations such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand on the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which will kick off late this fall and end in May of next year.

"As a group we will need a brief reset time," McCoy said of the program's immediate future. "Our goal will then be to pivot towards team focus on a medal and honing the tools we will need to accomplish that task."