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USA Rugby Names Bill Goren New CEO Effective March 18

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USA Rugby Names Bill Goren New CEO Effective March 18

Bill Goren will take on the CEO job in a month.

GLENDALE, Colo.(USA Rugby Release) – On behalf of the organization, the USA Rugby Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Bill Goren as USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer, beginning on Monday, March 18.

Goren most recently served as Deputy Commissioner to Major League Rugby, heading up Rugby Marketing and Business Operations for the professional league in North America. With over 20 years of senior leadership experience in sports marketing and development, Goren joins a USA Rugby organization eyeing substantial growth over the next decade with two of the world’s largest sporting events coming to the United States, the 2028 Summer Olympics and the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups in 2031 and 2033, respectively. As the National Governing Body for the sport, USA Rugby aims to galvanize the rugby community around these events and expand participation coast to coast. Goren steps into the role with high aspirations.

Goren said of the new role, “It is truly an honor to join USA Rugby. I eagerly anticipate immersing myself in the rugby community, focusing on genuine alignment as we work towards expanding the game, driving participation and interest at all levels of play and enhancing the USA Eagle’s prominence on the global stage. There is a significant opportunity for our community to grow the game together, I am excited to be a part of it.”

Goren brings a wealth of sports business experience stretching across Major League Baseball, the NBA and Major League Lacrosse before landing with Major League Rugby in 2020. In the four years since joining MLR, Goren has been fundamental in the evolution of the league’s commercial impact and key partnerships poised to support long-term success on and off the pitch. Notably the launch of The Rugby Network in 2021, a bespoke rugby media platform that has accumulated one of the larger rugby subscriber bases in the world. As USA Rugby continues to focus on participatory growth, member value and fan engagement ahead of such major events as the Olympic games and Rugby World Cup, Goren’s experience will be important during a critical period of opportunity.

Goren added, “The Olympics and upcoming Rugby World Cups in the United States hold immense potential, offering a prime opportunity to bring rugby to the forefront of American sports culture. The legacy impact these events offer on the future of our sport is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we are ready to harness. With numerous passionate organizations, groups, and individuals dedicated to success, our goal is to unite this fervor and align stakeholders towards our shared objectives. Through coordinated efforts and collaboration, I am confident that we can turn our aspirations for rugby growth into reality.”

Current CEO Ross Young will hand the baton through a transitional period as Goren similarly shifts over from his duties with Major League Rugby, ensuring both organizations have an effective transition in leadership. Young will move his time and expertise to the major event space as the USA ventures into the development stages of the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups. These events signify a legacy partnership between USA Rugby and World Rugby, to collaborate and build a strategic impact on the game with Goren at the helm.

Tom Cusack, USA Rugby Board Chair, commented, “Bill’s selection concludes a four-month process in which we had over three hundred people expressing interest in the CEO position. Our search committee consisted of USA Rugby Board Members Rick Humm (Senior Club), Bill Stevens (Youth & High School), Denis Shanagher and Jamie Burke (International Athletes), alongside Steve Argeris and myself as Independent Directors working with Barry McNeill and Michael Clarkson of Bloom Sports Partners as executive recruiters. We are pleased to say there was a complete and robust recruiting process in our search for the right candidate.

“After multiple rounds of interviews with a selected group of applicants, Bill stood out for a number of key qualities; his history of building organizational trust among constituents, his ability to articulate how he builds consensus and community, his collaborative leadership style, communication skills and knowledge of rugby in the overall American sports landscape. We are very excited to have Bill leading our organization.”

Cusack concluded with a nod to Young as he transitions from the current seat, “On behalf of the Board, I also want to express our deepest thanks to Ross Young for his six years as CEO of USA Rugby. We would not have navigated some challenging times, or have been awarded Rugby World Cup 2031 and 2033 without his vision and leadership. We look forward to having his support close by and working with Ross on the extensive preparations for those events.”

Nic Benson, CEO of Major League Rugby said, “Bill has been instrumental in laying the foundation for Major League Rugby, and we're grateful for his contributions to our growth and success. We look forward to all that he will accomplish in the next step of his journey as the CEO of USA Rugby, and we're excited to continue collaborating with him on a variety of fronts to continue to grow the game in advance of Rugby World Cup 2031.”

With a busy event season ahead and spring competitions underway, Goren and Cusack will attend the HSBC SVNS in Los Angeles this March for an opportunity to connect with USA Rugby leadership and stakeholders while supporting the USA Eagles Sevens Teams and the youth rugby tournament at Dignity Health Sports Park.