A graduate of the grassroots system in Queensland, he was the first homegrown football identity to coach at senior AFL level when he took charge of Carlton in 2002. Born in Melbourne but a Queenslander from an early age, he played with Centrals Aloomba in Cairns and coached Windsor- Zillmere to premierships at U19 and Reserves levels before taking the Zillmere seniors to a memorable flag in 1988.
Also had coaching success with Cairns, North Queensland and Queensland Country representative sides before being joining the Brisbane Bears as an assistant-coach under Robert Walls in 1994-95. Quickly won a huge reputation for his knowledge and passion, and was lured to Carlton by David Parkin’s offer of a full-time assistant-coaching role.
He quickly became Parkin’s right-hand man, serving as match day coach to the dual premiership mentor before taking charge in his own right in 2001. Had two years at the helm, rejecting a massive offer from St.Kilda during his stint with the Blues out of loyalty to the players, and was dismissed after seven years at the club in controversial circumstances at the end of 2002 as the hierarchy looked for a scapegoat for the club’s first wooden-spoon.
Spent two years as an assistant coach at Richmond in 2003-04 before returning ‘home’ in 2005, taking charge of the Zillmere Eagles for 18 months. Among five finalists for the Queensland Coach of the Century in 2003, he will return to the AFL as an assistant-coach with the Lions in 2009.