Norm Dare

Norm Dare

The adopted doyen of coaches in Queensland, he was named Queensland Coach of the Century in 2003 after a massive contribution at club and state level which changed the face of the game in the Sunshine State forever.

A 72-game AFL player at Fitzroy from 1968-74 who also played with SANFL club West Torrens in 1975-76, he began his coaching career with Fitzroy Reserves in 1978-79 before moving to Queensland in 1980.  

He tasted premiership success with Kedron in his first season, but after two years at the Redlegs’ helm he moved to the Gold Coast in 1982 ahead of Southport’s entry to the then QAFL competition in 1983. There he was the master, and in six years with the Sharks coached them to three premierships in 1983-85-87.

He was also Queensland coach from 1980-84, leading the Maroons to two mighty Escort Cup victories in 1983-84 and a famous State of Origin win over Victoria at the Gabba in 1991.

He joined the Brisbane Bears as assistant-coach in 1989 and in 1990 served as the club’s senior coach after being preferred to 1989 caretaker coach Paul Feltham.

He stepped down voluntarily to make way for Robert Walls as senior coach in 1991 but stayed on as an assistant coach with the Bears from 1991-93 and served as Southport Football Manager in 1995.

Admired across the country for his astute football acumen, he was soon lured back into the AFL system, and served as an assistant-coach at North Melbourne from 1996-2000, sharing in two premierships under Denis Pagan, and at Geelong from 2001-03.

A critical figure in the advancement of Queensland football ahead of the birth of the Brisbane Bears, he returned to his adopted state in 2004 and added another flag to his list at Southport in 2005. And at 63 in 2011 he took charge at Southport for a third time, coaching the club in the NEAFL for three years.  

Norm Dare was inducted into the Queensland Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and elevated to Legend status in 2023.

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