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The interim portion of Chris Brown's job title has been removed, as expected. The former men's assistant has spent about six weeks as the interim head coach after the ousting of Richie Walker. Ahead of the season opener in Glendale, Colo. this weekend, USA Rugby cast a vote of confidence in the man who helped turn the men's program into a contender.
"I'm excited to maximize the transfer of what I've been taught and exposed to over the past decade. Being mentored by one of the best in the business, Mike Friday, for a number of years, has only enhanced my belief that I can lead this program in a positive direction," said Brown in a press release.
"I'm encouraged from working with Emilie Bydwell and the remainder of the Women's Sevens staff, that we will be able to transfer a number of the qualities I've absorbed with this group very quickly. Specifically on pitch, I'm excited to see how I can enhance the progression of skill execution and situational understanding."
Brown's hire gives both senior women's national teams new head coaches heading into 2019. Rob Cain opens his account as the 15s head man with a November tour including tests against New Zealand, England and Ireland. Brown opens in Pool B with England, China and New Zealand this weekend in Glendale.
Brown has been given no quarter, as his pilot season is that of Olympic qualification. For the women to punch their ticket early, they'll need to finish in the top four at the end of the six-tournament series. They haven't finished that high since the inaugural World Series season of 2012/2013.
"Chris has a proven track record of accelerating the development of talent. Throughout his time working with the women, including the last six weeks as Interim Head Coach, Chris has demonstrated the ability to increase skill execution and improve tactical decision making whilst creating an authentic learning environment that maintains competition and performance standards," said Emilie Bydwell, USA Rugby's general manager of women's high performance.
"We believe that Chris's detail oriented coaching style, paired with his humble, aware and reflective leadership qualities, makes him the ideal candidate to support the women in their 2020 medal campaign."