Flores to lead Eagles for Two More Years

Via USA Rugby …

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby officially announced today that Women’s National Team Head Coach Kathy Flores’ contract has been extended for two more years.

“We are very pleased to extend Kathy’s contract as Women’s National Team Coach,” USA Rugby’s CEO and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville said. “Kathy has clearly demonstrated her ability to coach the team on the international stage and we look forward to her leadership as USA Rugby continues to build up the Women’s National Team programs over this next four-year cycle.”

One of the first tasks on Flores’ list will be to further develop a database that can be shared through all WNT programs so that USA Rugby coaches and administrators can better track players and their progress. Currently each program keeps their own data, however, USA Rugby wants to make this data accessible to all WNT programs so that coaches will have the information they need for discussion concerning player development.

As the Women’s National Team program will most likely see a few players retire after the last World Cup, Flores will also be tasked with identifying the next level of players to move into those spots. These will include USA A squad members, U-23 team members and players that have been brought to her attention through her support WNT staff (including U-19 and U-23) or having been mentioned by the local and TU coaches. Since the domestic calendar has been changed to further the development of players, the WNT program hopes to have more communication with the TU coaches regarding player progress.

Flores and her support staff are also currently in the planning stages of securing some international matches for this summer. This will give Flores the opportunity to see where the Team stands after the World Cup as the squad will be composed of a combination of veteran and new players.

“I am looking forward to the consistency in the programs contributing to not only the further development of players but the National Team becoming a force to reckon with on the international stage,” Kathy Flores said.

“Seeing as most of the top countries (particularly England and now Canada, as well) support their players financially, it will be hard for the United States to stay competitive if players must constantly worry about funding themselves,” Flores added. “We also have many coaches and support staff that donate their time and energy for the success of the Eagles. The restructuring of USA Rugby management sees a commitment to helping the women return to the top-ranked spots through funding and administrative support.”

Flores (Alameda, Calif.) has seen success from both sides of pitch, as an Eagles captain and coach. As a national team player, she captained the United State’s first national team in the Can-Am series, defeating Canada 22-3 in her first capped appearance where she scored a try. The Eagles would go 7-1 with Flores on the pitch as a scrumhalf and No. 8, including the first Women’s Rugby World Cup championship with a 46-0 blanking of the USSR in 1991. Most recently, as a coach, Flores’ led the Eagles to a 4-1 finish at the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup. She has been named the Women’s Sports Foundations Coach of the Year in 2000 and the 2003 recipient of the IRB Personality of the Year Award. In addition to coaching on the highest level, she has also tutored a number of club and Territorial Union All-Star teams.

I think the development of this database could be great for the women’s programs, make them much more cohesive. I do hope they pay attention to all the regional and local coaches though for input on up and coming players. There are a lot of potential Eagles out there just looking for a shot.

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