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Coaching Career
1999-2008 – Brisbane Lions

Games Coached
237

Coaching Honours
Lions Premiership Coach – 2001, 2002, 2003
All Australian Coach – 2001-03
AFL Hall of Fame Legend
Lions Life Member
Queensland Hall of Fame Legend
Lions Team of the Decade Coach (1997-2006)

 

 

At the end of 1998, the newly merged Brisbane Lions slumped to one of their darkest ever periods after taking home the AFL's wooden spoon.

A team filled with so much talent had quickly become unravelled, so the Club sought out one of the game's Legends to repair the damage.

Enter Leigh Matthews.

The man who was voted the game's greatest ever player and coached Collingwood to the 1990 Premiership, went on to leave a lasting legacy at the Lions.

Matthews made an immediate impact on the Club – both on and off the field – helping steer the Lions from 16th in 1998 to the Preliminary Final the following year. It was the equal best single-season turnaround in AFL history.

He also effected a significant cultural change within the organisation which went a long way to transforming two fractured Clubs into one unified merged entity.

His ruthless playing style was promptly instilled into his team, who went on to enjoy an unrivalled period of success throughout Matthews' 237-game coaching tenure – including that famous hat-trick of AFL Premierships from 2001-2003.

He remains the longest-serving and most successful coach in our combined Club history, and deserves his place among the absolute elite.