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
Sporting Globe 15 June 1938 p9
The Argus 27 June 1950 p10
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
|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
|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
|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
|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|