Gary Gold steps down as USA Men’s Eagles Head Coach

USA Rugby announced today that Gary Gold will step away from his role as Men’s Eagles Head Coach with USA Rugby. At the same time, the USA Rugby Board of Directors have initiated a fully comprehensive High Performance review process as the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup cycles reset, a review that will determine next steps regarding coaching assignments and responsibilities. Gold will remain at hand in the short term and support the review.

USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young said, “First and foremost, I want to thank Gary for his dedication, passion and service to the USA Men’s Eagles since joining in 2017. He has brought home the most successful record of any previous coach and helped carry the team to its highest ever World Rugby ranking of 12 in 2018. The passion Gary has for this program is unquestioned and we will always appreciate it. The future structure and support systems for the Men’s Eagles will go through a reform as the organization embarks on a complete review of our High Performance programs, with us now not participating in France next year it will give us the opportunity to start implementing some of those sooner than anticipated.”

Gary Gold noted on recent results and his departure, “It has been a privilege to work with the amazing playing group at USA Rugby over the past five years, and I want to commend the players and the unbelievable effort they made in trying to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately, even though we didn’t lose a game in the FQT, we did not get the outcome we wanted.

I believe the Eagles can be very successful, but it will need an objective review of the systems and structures because having the group play a total of nine Tests in two years is not conducive to building the cohesion required to climb the world rankings. I fully support the wider review process that has been initiated. Having said that, one of the things I believe about leadership is that the position comes with accountability for outcomes, and I feel that I need to take responsibility for the fact that we haven’t qualified. To that end, I am going to step away from the role of USA Eagles head coach at the end of the year.

I really want to apologize to the USA rugby public, the stakeholders, staff and everyone who supported us. While I am very sorry we didn’t get the desired outcome, I do want to make special mention of this group of players and how unbelievably proud I am of their efforts, particularly under the incredibly difficult circumstances leading up to the final World Cup qualifier.

As much as I am bitterly disappointed at the end result, we gave it our best shot and I’m comfortable we gave it everything we had to qualify.”