RESEARCH INTO THE CAREER RECORDS OF VFL/AFL COACHES -
REASONS WHY JOCK McHALE = 713 matches, BOB RUSH = 1 match.

I am not anti-Mick Malthouse, nor anti-Jock McHale. I acknowledge the longevity and success of their respective coaching careers at senior level in the VFL/AFL.
But I also strongly support the keeping and compiling of accurate records based on consistency of approach.

At present, in my opinion, the AFL history & stats department distributes and maintains some aspects of football history based on myth,
dubious assumption and inaccuracy.

One of those areas is the statistical record of who coached a senior game in the VFL/AFL. Research on that subject is incomplete with much work still to be done.
Ross Smith, Launceston.

On 11 September 2014 I emailed the AFL asking them to ensure that Jock McHale's senior coaching career be recorded accurately,
at the moment believed to be 713 matches.

In October 2014 it was announced that the AFL were removing Bob Rush from the list of "caretaker" coaches,
and that Jock McHale would be recognised as coach of Collingwood for the 1930 Grand Final, making his tally 714.

Mick Malthouse coached his 714th VFL/AFL match in Rnd 4, 2015 (Carlton v St Kilda in Wellington, New Zealand on 25 April) and in my opinion set a new record.

Jock McHale, who was ill at home on 1930 Grand Final day, should not have that match credited to him.
That fact was acknowledged in the press at the time and also in later years.

Some of those reports recognise Bob Rush as caretaker coach for that match.

Comments acknowledging that McHale was not present at the 1930 VFL Grand Final. The Argus 13 October 1930 p10.
"We have seen many reversals of form in recent years, but none so dramatic, none so sudden, as we saw on Saturday. It was the more amazing because the astute Collingwood coach, J. McHale, was ill in bed and unable to be present, and thus there was no opportunity for him to to make the rallying speech at half-time which has so often spurred the magpies on to victory. The Collingwood room at half-time was a very serious place. There was no repining, no blaming the other fellow, but they all felt they had done their best and had been defeated.
Mr. R. Rush took the place of 'Jock' McHale, and in an inspiring speech urged the team to rise to the occasion. The men, feeling that an extra effort was required, made it, and overwhelmed the opposition and won."

Sporting Globe 20 September 1933 p8
"Into the Collingwood room went Bob Rush. Mounting a form he harangued the Maggies as they have seldom been harangued."

Sporting Globe 15 June 1938 p9
"Jock McHale, Collingwood's Coach was ill"

The Argus 27 June 1950 p10
In an article by Ken Moses when he interviewed Syd Coventry a comment was made about the 1930 Grand Final-Collingwood v Geelong .."the time the Magpies were down 3-7 to 6-10, and there was no Jock McHale to give them a rallying speech. He was ill in bed."

Interestingly, Mick Malthouse played in two matches in 1974 where the official coach Allan Jeans was ill and replaced by Eric Guy.
The AFL recognises Guy as coach of those matches. That correct interpretation makes the McHale/Rush decison seem a very odd one indeed !

This list below shows the names of VFL/AFL coaches who were unable to perform their normal coaching duties on a particular day,
and the reason why they couldn't do so.

It also shows the people who replaced the official coach and performed those duties in a caretaker capacity.
As they did the work with the team on the day I think they should be credited as having coached those games.

There have been just over 100 matches identified so far dating from seasons between 1920 and 2014.
About 20% of instances have been found in recent months, and do not appear in the AFL 2015 Season Guide.
I acknowledge here research by Rhett Bartlett & Trevor Ruddell (of Tigerland Archive site) which alerted me to some instances.

43 matches are identified where the official club coach was replaced (due to illness or injury) by someone in a caretaker capacity,
42 matches where the coach was away from the club because they were with the Vic state team,
15 where the coach was under suspension,
and one match where the reason was family bereavement.

YEAR MATCHES or RND TEAM AFFECTED OFFICIAL COACH CARETAKER COACH REASON FOR PERSONNEL CHANGE
1920 Semi Final Richmond Minogue, Dan Hislop, Max Missing from AFL Season Guide
Minogue unwell
1925 8, 9, 10 Richmond Minogue, Dan Morris, Mel Missing from AFL Season Guide
Minogue too injured to coach
1930 Grand Final Collingwood McHale, Jock Rush, Bob McHale unwell
1932 5, 6, 7, 8 North Melbourne Taylor, Dick Cameron, Charlie Taylor suspended so could not perform coaching duties
1935 9, 10 South Melbourne Bisset, Jack Diggins, Brighton Bisset away with Vic state team
1936 3 Essendon Baggott, Jack Forbes, Keith Missing from AFL Season Guide
Baggott unwell
1937 16 Richmond Bentley, Percy Titus, Jack Bentley away with Vic state team
1938 9 St Kilda Clarke, Ansell Paterson, Jack Clarke unwell
1938 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 St Kilda Clarke, Ansell Minogue, Dan Clarke was away recovering from operation
1939 17, 18 North Melbourne Forbes, Keith Cusack, Ted Missing from AFL Season Guide
Forbes suspended
1941 11 Richmond Dyer, Jack Titus, Jack Dyer away with Vic state team
1941 11 Essendon Reynolds, Dick Griggs, Les Reynolds away with Vic state team
1943 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 South Melbourne Kelly, Joe Leonard, Johnny Missing from AFL Season Guide
Joe Kelly unwell
1944 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Essendon Reynolds, Dick Plummer, Elton Reynolds unwell & recovering from operation
1944 12, 13, 14, 15 Richmond Dyer, Jack Harris, Dick Missing from AFL Season Guide
Dyer suspended for striking J McHale jnr
1945 12 Fitzroy Hughson, Fred Hillard, Norm Hughson away with Vic state team
1945 12 Essendon Reynolds, Dick Ruddell, Cec Reynolds away with Vic state team
1946 14 Essendon Reynolds, Dick Ruddell, Cec Reynolds away with Vic state team
1951 10 Footscray Sutton, Charlie McLaren, George Sutton away with Vic state team
1951 12, 13, 14, 15 South Melbourne Lane, Gordon Clegg, Ron Missing from AFL Season Guide
Lane suspended
1952 8 Footscray Sutton, Charlie Donald, Wally Sutton at MCG with Vic state team, Footscray played at Yallourn
1953 12 Footscray Sutton, Charlie Donald, Wally Sutton away with Vic state team
1956 10 Geelong Hickey, Reg Davis, Bob Hickey away with Vic state team
1956 10 Fitzroy Stephen, Bill Curcio, Frank Stephen away with Vic state team
1957 11 Hawthorn Hale, Jack Kennedy, John Hale injured in accident on way to ground, Kennedy taking over at the match
1959 12 Essendon Reynolds, Dick Thaw, Alan Reynolds away with Vic state team
1959 12 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Ryan, Joe Whitten away with Vic state team
1960 10 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Ryan, Joe Whitten away with Vic state team
1960 10 Collingwood Kyne, Phonse Mann, Neil Kyne away with Vic state team
1961 13 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Findlay, Bill Whitten away with Vic state team
1961 13 Fitzroy Smith, Len Edwards, "Titch" Smith away with Vic state team
1962 12 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Findlay, Bill Whitten away with Vic state team
1963 10 Geelong Davis, Bob Trezise, Neil Davis away with Vic state team
1963 10 Fitzroy Murray, Kevin Clark, Wally Murray away with Vic state team
1964 8 Fitzroy Murray, Kevin Williams, Tom Murray away with Vic state team
1964 8 Melbourne Smith, Norm Barassi, Ron Smith away with Vic state team
1964 8 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Findlay, Bill Whitten away with Vic state team
1965 11 Essendon Coleman, John Sewell, Greg Coleman away with Vic state team
1965 11 South Melbourne Skilton, Bob Lahiff, Tom Skilton was away with Vic state team
1966 8, 9 Footscray Whitten, Ted snr Findlay, Bill Whitten away with Vic state team
1966 8, 9 North Melbourne Killigrew, Alan McKenzie, Keith Killigrew away with Vic state team
1967 11 Collingwood Rose, Bob Mann, Neil Rose was away with Vic state team
1968 12 Fitzroy Stephen, Bill Slocum, Ray Stephen away with Vic state team
1971 16 Richmond Hafey, Tom Howell, Verdun Hafey away with Vic state team
1972 12 St Kilda Jeans, Allan Guy, Eric Jeans away with Vic state team
1972 12 Carlton Nicholls, John McKenzie, Keith Nicholls away with Vic state team
1973 2 Carlton Nicholls, John McKenzie, Keith Nicholls suspended
1973 6 Hawthorn Kennedy, John Simmonds, Roy Kennedy was away with Vic state team
1974 9, 15 Collingwood Mann, Neil Richards, Ron Mann was away with Vic state team
1974 14, 15, 16, 17 St Kilda Jeans, Allan Guy, Eric Jeans unwell for four weeks
1975 14 Carlton Nicholls, John McKenzie, Keith Nicholls away with Vic state team
1976 4 Richmond Hafey, Tom Richardson, Barry Hafey away with Vic state team
1976 21 Nth Melb Barassi, Ron Jordon, Ray Barassi unwell after car accident
1977 13 Nth Melb Barassi, Ron Dugdale, John Barassi away with Vic state team
1981 3 Footscray Hart, Royce Goode, Frank Hart was ill with appendicitis
1987 19, 20, 21, 22 St Kilda Baldock, Darrel Davis, Allan Baldock unwell
2001 17 Hawthorn Schwab, Peter Connolly, Chris Schwab unwell
2005 18 Brisbane Matthews, Leigh Blakey, John Matthews' away on family matters, his mother having died a few days before match
2006 16 Essendon Sheedy, Kevin O'Donnell, Gary Missing from AFL Season Guide
Sheedy writing in press uses words which directly credit O'Donnell with being coach for the match
2013 6 Port Adelaide Hinkley, Ken Richardson, Alan Hinkley was ill with virus
2014 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 Hawthorn Clarkson, Alistair Bolton, Brendon Clarkson ill and then in recovery for a few weeks