Louisiana State University 7s team coach Jeff Reuther has to step aside because his club, New Orleans, has made the National DII club final four.
As a result, LSU has brought in former USA Women’s 7s coach Julie McCoy to take over the team in time for the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship at PPL Park in Philadelphia June 4-5.
McCoy is currently president and managing physician of Neurology of Arkansas, a neurology practice that she started in 2000.
She is the current USA South men’s 7s all-star coach, and coached the USA women to a 3rd-place finish in the 2009 7s World Cup.
“I’m excited,” McCoy told RUGBYMag.com. “I have known Jeff Reuther since he was 14, as I played touch with him in New Orleans when I was doing my residency there at Tulane. He also serves as a regional coach under me for the South Men's 7s program, so I am confident that he has his team prepared. I consider the opportunity given me an honor, and I am humbled by his consideration.”
McCoy has coached men and women on the club and elite level.
“For me, coaching men comes naturally,” she said. “I am definitely my father's daughter, so coordinating and sharing with men comes easy. When you think about it, men are used to having female teachers, so it's not far-fetched that they listen. The key ingredient is demonstrating to the players and staff that I am knowledgeable about the game and that my words make rugby sense. After that, the only name I have ever been called (to my face) is coach.”
McCoy said she will not make any changes to the pattern put in by Reuther, saying she intends to follow his attack and defense systems fully.
“All coaches at this level, and on the national level, concentrate on the fundamentals,” she said. “They can never be assumed or abandoned; I trust that Jeff has these boys well drilled. And yes to the wrinkles question. My role will be two-fold: tactical, and motivational and organizational.”
But expect McCoy also to bring her considerable experience to bear, and to throw in a few wrinkles in the LSU play. She has, after all, about a week.