Essendon announce Brad Scott as new senior coach on long-term deal
Brad Scott will be coach of Essendon for at least the next four years. Essendon president Dave Barham announced his appointment late on Thursday, bringing the Bombers’ search to a hectic end.
“This is a significant appointment and another important step forward in the progress of our club,” Barham said in an email to members.
Brad Scott has been named as Essendon’s new senior coach.Credit:The Age
“Throughout the process, it was clear the club required a strong leader and Brad’s track record as a player, coach and administrator demonstrated this.
“Brad has an incredible resume, with a diverse range of roles and is the experienced figure the club required.
“We believe Brad has all the attributes to be the long-term coach of the Essendon Football Club. He’s a strong leader who will drive standards and establish a winning culture.”
Scott came in a late rush. He has a long-standing relationship with Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney, who was a member of the panel, and while he had low-level informal conversations with the Bombers in recent weeks, he was not formally interviewed by the coaching subcommittee until Thursday afternoon.
A board meeting then ratified his appointment. It means Barham has delivered on his stated goal of hiring an experienced coach.
“We look forward to Brad getting started with us and working closely with the broader club and the football department for what will be an important pre-season,” Barham said.
“We are under no illusions about the hard work ahead of us. By the same token, we are excited about the challenge of building a club that our members are proud of and one that delivers sustained on-field success.”
Scott, 46, is the twin brother of the reigning premiership coach, Geelong’s Chris Scott. They were premiership teammates in Brisbane’s highly successful team at the start of the century before embarking on coaching careers.
As coach of North Melbourne until 2019, Scott took them to preliminary finals in 2014 and 2015 and to two other finals series. At Essendon, he will have more resources, but also have to deal with greater expectations.
Most recently, he has been working for the AFL, in community footy, then an influential senior footy operations role.
Scott was preferred to Melbourne assistant coach Adem Yze and the less likely candidature of James Hird, a legendary but controversial figure at Bomberland.
Scott was recommended by a panel consisting of Mahoney, Hawthorn’s four-time premiership player Jordan Lewis, ex-Carlton premiership coach Robert Walls, board member Dorothy Hisgrove, ex-NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn and leading netball coach Simone McKinnis.
“The coaching process was diligent in its approach and detailed in its execution,” Barham said. “It begun with a shortlist of over 22 candidates and included a demanding interview process, game style presentations and external personality profiling to ensure we had the full picture of the successful candidate.”
Scott’s task is to resurrect the fortunes of the Bombers, a 16-premiership powerhouse, but without even a finals win to their name since 2004. Their most recent coach, Ben Rutten, was sacked in August after less than two seasons after a failed attempt to lure Alastair Clarkson into the job.
Rutten’s sacking precipitated a type of spill at Essendon. Long-term chief executive Xavier Campbell quit, former president Paul Brasher ceded the job to Barham and board members Simon Madden, Peter Allen and Sean Wellman all quit.
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