IPSWICH COACHES: Who made the top 15?
TRYING to finalise Ipswich's top 35 coaches from my past three and half decades at the QT has been a daring challenge. But I've attempted it.
The comprehensive project concludes with today's top 15 being revealed.
Ipswich has produced so many outstanding mentors and attracted a number of elite outside coaches to guide city representative sides.
The list features a diverse mix of quality people, who have proven records of performance and winning attributes in a number of sports. Emphasis is on Ipswich loyalty, commitment and historic achievements.
Check out the final countdown . . .
15. Terry Lindeberg (basketball)
WHEN it comes to developing junior players, Lindeberg's contribution is up with the best.
Apart from his many administrative roles, including a stint as Ipswich Basketball Association president, Lindeberg has coached several young representative sides to state championship glory.
Being honoured with a 2018 Basketball Queensland award for his service to the sport was fitting acknowledgment for Lindeberg.
He has served Ipswich for more than four decades, playing pivotal roles in nurturing regional talent from players under-8 to state league level.
Lindeberg previously won Queensland recognition for his coaching endeavours, having guided Ipswich under-16 and under-18 girls to undefeated success at state titles.
"Coaching is way up there,'' Lindeberg said, having encouraged so many basketballers to further their careers. "It's the number one driver of it all.
"Some kids come in and you coach them and they come up and say: 'Did you really coach my grandmother'?''
Lindeberg has also been a junior competitions organiser, club delegate and an executive member of Ipswich Basketball's management committee.
As a "shaker and mover'' in the sport, he has contributed to significant changes and improvements at the Ipswich stadium, especially after the devastation of the 2011 floods.
In recent seasons, Lindeberg has supported his junior development work as an assistant coach with Ipswich's state league teams.
The former rugby league five-eight also coached at Norths and guided Fassifern's A-Grade sides in 1986/87.
14. Jim Landy (rugby league)
THE Ipswich Jets life member has in many regards been the backbone of the club for more than three decades.
With another outstanding supporter in wife Dot, Jim has played a major role behind the scenes.
But one of his major achievements was as coach. He steered the Jets to the 1989 Brisbane Rugby League grand final, a year after legendary mentor Tom Raudonikis became the first Ipswich coach to achieve that feat.
Although the Jets lost the final under Landy's astute eye, he remained a dependable top team coach until 1991.
Landy has seen all the club's best locally-bred and recruited players advance at the Jets, some securing NRL honours and higher level coaching opportunities.
He's been involved with several representative sides, starting his major coaching association as Jets Reserve Grade mentor in 1987 after a stint with Norths.
After assuming the top coaching position, he continued as selector and fulfilled important official roles.
"It's a family-orientated club and we like to really push the local players through and try to identify the talent,'' Landy said. "In the early days, it was more about keeping them in Ipswich.
"The biggest kick I get out of it is seeing some of the next generation players come through.''
They include families like the Walters and Parcells.
Dot has also served as a secretary and treasurer of the fundraising committee, being the all-welcoming face at the gate for games at the North Ipswich Reserve.
Jets chairman Steve Johnson is a huge fan of the popular and dedicated couple, who are proud of their Ipswich origins.
"Dottie and Jimmy have endearing personalities and their genuineness and willingness to help people shines through,'' Johnson said.
"When people come to our club, they feel like they are at home.''
13. Des Taege (multiple sports)
REGARDED as one of the Ipswich region's "original immortals,'' Taege was a wonderful role model for so many young people.
Before he lost his decade-long battle with illness, Taege devoted much of his life to school sport.
Taege was a person of the highest calibre, serving the community as a teacher, administrator, coach and selector for more than four decades.
Among the Silkstone State School teacher's long associations was with Ipswich Rugby League, district and state football bodies and the Parents and Old Boys Association.
He was chairman of the Queensland Primary Schools rugby league team from 1991-2004.
Taege was Met West regional convenor for rugby league and girls cricket, along with being secretary of the Ipswich Rugby League management committee. He was also chairman of selectors for Ipswich Diggers A and Under-20 sides.
Long-time friend Murray Rogers shared why Taege had such a valuable impact in Ipswich.
"He's done so much," said Rogers, who had known the sporting icon for 35 years.
"He had a love and a passion of kids and sport.
"He did rugby league, he did athletics, he did cricket. He was boots and all into any sport that kids wanted to play because he was just really passionate about seeing kids actively involved in sport.
"He was also a wonderful classroom teacher.''
Taege was a successful coach with Booval Swifts in the Ipswich competition during the 1980s.
He was also heavily involved in fundraising for the Parents and Old Boys Association that helped many regional kids and organisations.
Taege was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2005 for his voluntary services to school sport, particularly rugby league and cricket from 1958-2005.
12. Kevin Walters (rugby league)
WITH a 31 win record from 44 games coaching the Jets in 2007/08, Walters was at home during his stint with the Ipswich club.
The former Broncos, Queensland and Australian five-eight had reached lofty heights as a player before turning his attention to coaching.
But what quickly became apparent was his style. Walters had lost none of his loyalty and desire to win, still with a larrikin streak growing up and playing in his famous family and alongside another Ipswich icon Allan "Alfie'' Langer.
After guiding the Jets to the 2007 Queensland Cup finals, the former Booval Swifts footballer ventured overseas to coach the Catalans Dragons Super League club in France. He later became assistant coach to Melbourne Storm mentor Craig Bellamy.
Walters is now coach of the Queensland Maroons, having already enjoyed a series successes over NSW in 2016 and 2017. His colourful tactics, like banning his Queensland players referencing the NSW Blues players as a mental tactic, continue to entertain fans.
11. Damian Mednis (rugby/cricket/athletics)
ALTHOUGH fitness is more his forte than tactics, Mednis has been one of the region's most successful higher level coaches. He provides the strength behind elite success.
The former St Edmund's College student has worked with the Queensland Bulls cricket team, along with the Queensland Reds and Australian Wallabies rugby sides.
He has also been based overseas, with rugby clubs like powerhouse Irish organisation Munster, in his important strength and conditioning coaching role.
As a former state open decathlon champion, Mednis acquired a diverse range of skills that assisted international sportsmen including regional cricketers Andy Bichel and Shane Watson.
He grew up playing rugby league for Brothers in Ipswich while regularly competing for the Ipswich and District Athletics club.
He has continued his specialised career as Director of Athletic Performance and Track and Field at The Southport School.
10. Tom Raudonikis (rugby league)
WITH his distinctive voice and fearless approach, Raudonikis was the first coach to take the Ipswich Jets to a Brisbane Rugby League grand final.
Although the Jets lost that historic encounter to Valleys in 1988, Raudonikis remains one of the most colourful coaches in Ipswich sporting history. He worked with Jets teams from 1985-88.
Raudonikis had strong ties with one of Ipswich's favourite sons Allan "Alfie'' Langer as he built teams rich in mateship. He was fearless, straight-talking and often motivated with unusual methods.
One of the keen greyhound follower's legendary efforts was bringing a blood-soaked bullock's heart into the Ipswich team dressing room.
Life member Jim Landy was there in 1987.
"This particular day we were playing Brothers,'' Landy recalled, "and Tommy spoke about his dislike for Brothers because they had sacked him before he came up to the Jets.
"I was coach of Reserve Grade and I was in the dressing room listening to Tommy's pre-game talk. I was watching him carry around this paper bag.
"As he went on with his talk, he said: 'This is what I want from you blokes, a bit of heart and blood and guts'.
"That is when he pulled out the bullock's heart and jammed it on one of the coat pegs.
"Blood sprayed all over Allan Langer and Glen Haggath and all of the younger players coming up. It was quite a spectacle.''
Landy, who guided the Jets the 1989 grand final after taking over from Raudonikis, shared why the Ipswich visitor left such a legacy at the Jets.
"Tommy gave a lot of the local players a good opportunity and created a good team that was able to match it with all the Brisbane sides,'' Landy said.
"He instilled a great belief that was needed by Ipswich at that time.
"Tommy often says that we gave him a lifeline with his coaching career here but he certainly added a different dimension to the football played by Ipswich.
"Motivation was his strong point.''
9. Aaron Moore (cricket)
STEERING the Ipswich Logan Hornets to this year's Queensland Premier Grade grand final was a remarkable feat. Although the coronavirus shutdown denied the Hornets a chance to finish the season as victors, Moore can be immensely proud.
Being named Bulls Masters First Grade Coach of the Year was a richly deserved honour.
Moore is a smart and calm operator, always positive and respectful of the experienced players in his sides. He has a great eye for detail and planning.
The former Ipswich Grammar School teacher is also adept at building successful partnerships.
In the just finished season, the Hornets 2nd Grade and Taverners sides also had their best returns under Moore's overall guidance.
Moore took on the Hornets head coaching role appreciative of the groundwork by his predecessor Geoff Paulsen.
But it didn't take long for the former assistant coach to introduce his management and people skills when in charge.
Before joining the Hornets, Moore started his coaching career at Northsiders in 2015/16. He further developed his skills with Ipswich Plunkett and Webb Shield representative teams.
He also coached IGS First XI teams for more than a decade and worked with Queensland Schoolboys sides.
"I love the game,'' Moore said, promoting the mateship and building a sense of belonging in team sport.
He said cricket was also a great teacher in life skills.
8. Matt Carson (soccer)
IT'S hard to argue with many knowledgeable Ipswich footballers who rate Carson the city's best soccer coach in recent decades.
I started my career at the QT in 1984 observing Ipswich United's latest premiership celebration at the Racehorse Hotel. It was a remarkable era of football under the highly regarded Carson's astute control.
Carson's achievements with Ipswich United include winning grand finals in 1982, 1984 and 1985 and the 1983 Queensland Ampol Cup.
As former player Brett Kitching noted, Carson had a formula that worked - building the right experience with local talent.
Carson had similar winning results in his previous coaching stints at Merton East, Southside Eagles, Brisbane Lions and Brisbane City.
"His secret was a particularly direct style of playing requiring the right players to play that style,'' Kitching said. "That meant there were players that travelled from club to club with him and these included Ron Millman, Gerry Lindsay, Kenny Gordon, Alan Marzaleck, John Bennett, Kevin Coleman, and Mark Atmore, all of whom he brought to Ipswich to complement the solid base there with Wayne Warren, Jeff Dann, Ian Lawrie, Randall McKeand and later Peter Vogler among others.''
Kitching recalls Carson having a very direct method of playing. That featured the old style British 4-3-3 tactics including a deep sweeper (eg Atmore), tight defence with hard working midfield (eg McKeand), big strong stopper (eg Warren), and speedy, dominant strikers (like Millman and Vogler) to benefit from the direct play.
7. Les Kinnane (cricket/rugby league)
THE all too early loss of one of Ipswich's leading all-rounders shocked the city.
However, the years of service Kinnane provided in a range of sports will be long celebrated.
From one of Ipswich's best known sporting families, Les was a wonderful coach, linked closely to his 48 years as a teacher and his outstanding community spirit.
Growing up in Ipswich from an early age, he started his teaching career at Blair State School in 1963, before stints at Amberley, Kruger, Ipswich Central and providing a supply service before his untimely departure.
He fulfilled multiple roles coaching children in many sports while also having important administrative roles at school and club level. He became a state coach.
Kinnane was secretary of the Ipswich Primary Schools Sports Association for a decade, heavily involved in organising swimming and athletics carnivals, all while managing representative teams to state championship level.
Kinnane was President groundsman at the Len Johnson Oval from 1980, a venue that virtually became a second home.
It was there where he coached so many talented youngsters, including international cricketer Shane Watson. He was an avid and highly regarded leader with the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association, Ipswich Schoolboys Cricket Coaching Squad and Ipswich Primary School cricket.
He was part of all but two annul Ipswich Primary School cricket tours to North Queensland, where he helped develop 11 and 12 year old cricketers.
Kinnane's extensive sporting reach spread to Ipswich Brothers and Hancocks hockey. He helped community sport through regular fundraising venture at the Ipswich RSL and Raceview Tavern. He also had strong links to umpires and served on judiciaries.
As a sportsman until age 36, he played cricket, hockey, rugby league, tennis, rugby union and basketball. He was an Ipswich representative in all those sports except rugby.
Ray Leschke, another long-serving friend and dedicated sporting official, provided some valuable insights into the life of a popular identity.
"Leslie Owen Kinnane was very much part of the Ipswich community,'' Leschke said.
"He was proud of his city and very proud to be a Queenslander.
"A lasting memory for all of us will be the Maroon Blazer he wore to sport functions, with more badges on the lapel than one could readily count.''
One of Kinnane's most treasured life membership badges was for Queensland Primary School Sport. He was awarded an incredible nine life memberships in total, such was his sporting prowess.
In 2000, Kinnane was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his service to cricket.
6. Peter McNeven (touch football)
DURING the golden era of touch football in Australia, McNeven was the hugely admired national coach.
In partnership with other Ipswich achievers - Australian captain Scott Notley and loyal manager Ian Rodgers - Booval-based McNeven masterminded Australia to an unprecedented hat-trick of World Cup triumphs in 1991, 1995 and 1999.
Once modestly describing himself as "fortunate'', McNeven was professional in everything he did, especially at a time when touch football was growing rapidly in Queensland.
Ipswich-bred "Macca'' coached successful regional and state teams, in addition to his international rewards in Trans Tasman series and at World Cup tournaments.
He reached the highest level of competition built on a platform of good, old-fashioned hard work.
"It's the environment I grew up in,'' he said, proud of his Ipswich origins.
"I always like to believe if you put in your best, you'll get the best results.''
What was also inspiring about McNeven's leadership was it all being in a voluntary capacity with no financial rewards that national coaches of today often receive.
The Queensland Rail administrator was a fantastic planner and strategist, focused on superior fitness and skill development.
McNeven received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his services to the game.
5. Brad George (basketball)
GUIDING a team to nine consecutive state league final series is a record any coach would be proud to own.
For Ipswich Force women's mentor George, it's all in a season's work.
The humble Bremer State High School teacher is a no-fuss coach who promotes team chemistry and friendships, always looking to develop young talent. It's a formula that has served Ipswich's fine basketball program well over the past decade.
Although the Force women have yet to win a Queensland Basketball League title, they are always in the hunt, often just falling short against other teams with bigger recruitment budgets.
But that's okay for George who gains immense satisfaction seeing Ipswich-bred players rise up the ranks, supported by loyal and more experienced regulars.
As current state league player Rachel Mate highlighted, George sets the standard.
"The best thing about us is we really do all trust each other to get the job done on the day,'' the former Queensland under-20 captain said. "That's something you don't get in a lot of teams.''
George also had a stint in 2015/16 as assistant coach of the South East Queensland Stars that played in the Women's National Basketball League competition.
During his playing career, the former point guard lined up for Ipswich in 2008/09 and Logan (2003/04) in the state league.
4. Graham Harvey (soccer)
ALTHOUGH an Ipswich visitor, Harvey quickly became one of the most influential coaches in the city's history.
During his incredible stint at Western Pride FC, he created a winning mentality that will be long remembered.
After being secured in the 2015 National Premier Leagues Queensland season, Harvey wasted little time assembling and developing a talent-rich, youth-laden senior team. He injected training discipline and boosted standards not seen in Ipswich for many years.
The Brisbane PE teacher guided Pride to an historic 2017 grand final at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex, providing one of the most atmosphere-charged sporting moments in Ipswich's recent sporting history.
Pride beat Moreton Bay 2-1 in the thrilling decider. The winning goalscorer was locally-bred striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who later secured an A-League contract with Brisbane Roar.
Pride made the playoffs a year later before Harvey was recruited to coach Eastern FC's first team in the Hong Kong Premier League.
Harvey's professionalism and faith in young players were his trademarks.
The former Brisbane Lions player and Strikers coach instilled incredible team values in everything they did on and off the field. That included taking his grand final winning team to Japan in the NPL off-season to strengthen bonds and broaden their footballing knowledge.
Harvey also lured the New Zealand national men's team to the Briggs Road Sporting Complex for a memorable mid-week match. That momentous occasion provided valuable warm-up for the New Zealand side on their way to the Oceania Cup tournament. Importantly for Ipswich football, the Pride players received invaluable experience against international opponents.
Under English-born Harvey's guidance, Pride had a number of players promoted to higher level competitions. Yet development remained his buzz word.
"We've always said to the players if you get an opportunity to progress into professional football, then we'll help you and we'll push you,'' Harvey said.
"I'm really proud of my time (in Ipswich) and proud to have worked with so many good young players and amazing coaching staff.''
3. Vic Pascoe (athletics)
AS a former athlete, Pascoe knows what it takes to be successful.
But his commitment as a coach and president of the Ipswich and District Athletic Club is what propels Pascoe into the highest echelon of Ipswich sporting contributors.
The always positive, forward-thinking mentor has guided an incredible number of young athletes to state and national level successes. Having coached since March 1980, he can almost be regarded as the Jim Gardiner of athletics in Ipswich, similar to the city's iconic swimming coach of past years. Pascoe is an accredited Level IV coach in sprints, hurdles and relays.
But his legacy extends far wider. Pascoe's best attribute is the way he encourages everyone, including his athletes, the club's tremendous coaches and parents who support the exciting talent.
He's always available for extra sessions and travels around the country supporting his club athletes at major events.
He has extensive knowledge about nutrition, physiology, technique and illegal drug use in sport.
His regular club newsletters and videos promote the efforts of everyone in the Ipswich club which has built a national reputation for achievement.
He was involved with the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin and many Oceania championships. He's travelled extensively supporting his athletes at major championships like the 2012 World Junior Athletics in USA, 2015 Commonwealth Youth Championships and 2018 Melanesian Games. He was a volunteer at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The former Ipswich Citizen of the Year possesses a strong sense of Ipswich athletic history, appreciative of earlier elite coaches like patriarch Bill Paterson, the highly respected Geoff Jones and husband and wife teams like Patricia and Geoff Barclay.
Pascoe explains why he loves every aspect of his athletic coaching.
"Just to see mums and dads come back many years later after they were coached by me and then request that they would like their children to be coached is a satisfying moment that we, as coaches, must be doing something right,'' Pascoe said.
"I have lost count of the number of athletes I have coached over the years (well into the hundreds) but to see some athletes still training under me after 10 years is a reward to me, just to be their coach and mentor.''
2. Ben and Shane Walker (rugby league)
TWO innovative brothers, almost joined at the hip and with outstanding footy careers, will forever retain their place in Ipswich Jets and Queensland rugby league history.
Ben and Shane Walker injected a unique style of leadership when they took over as head coaches of the Jets state league side in 2011. The Jets were struggling in last place when the Walkers were appointed in the penultimate round of 2010.
The fearless brothers had an instant impact in rebuilding the Jets fortunes.
Ben and Shane coached the Jets in 219 Intrust Super Cup matches, extending that to 220 games when including their 2015 interstate challenge victory on NRL grand final day. They delivered a 55 per cent win record (122 victories) during that incredible period of dedication and longevity.
Their record is the second most games in the state competition and the Walker brothers are in an elite 200 plus match club of only three.
Teams guided by the Walkers contested five state league final series in a row - from 2011-15.
Having only just stood down from the Jets last year, they finished with a record that will probably never be matched at an Ipswich rugby league club.
Two highlights include beating the Townsville Blackhawks 32-20 to win the 2015 state league grand final at Suncorp Stadium. That historic feat for Ipswich was followed by the Jets' 26-12 triumph over the Newcastle Knights in the Interstate Challenge between the Queensland and NSW cup champions that year.
Promoting attacking freedom, adopting short kickoffs and implementing other daring tactics will be the trademarks of the highly regarded co-coaches.
Current Jets head coach and former premiership-winning captain Keiron Lander shared why the Walkers are such valuable assets to a club and the community.
"They are country fellas. They live and breathe football,'' Lander said. "They are really genuine people and that includes their partners and their kids and their mum and dad.''
1. Barry Dancer (hockey)
THE master tactician has been the city's most successful international coach over the past two decades.
The former Ipswich Grammar School teacher and Hancocks hockey club legend has achieved it all.
Dancer guided the Australian Kookaburras men's team to an historic first gold medal triumph at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
His teams always set the highest standards at World Cup and Champions Trophy tournaments. The Dancer international victory list also features Kookaburras gold medal glories at the 2002 (Manchester) and 2006 (Melbourne) Commonwealth Games.
The Ipswich born and bred achiever was head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport men's hockey program from 2001-08.
Two of his greatest strengths were how we treated and inspired others.
Dancer was also always one step ahead of the game, challenging his players to do the extraordinary and unexpected. He rated them "firefighters'' - self-reliant players able to cope with intense pressure - and "troubleshooters'' - those who can deal with adversity.
The coaching maestro has never forgotten where he came from, regularly returning to his home city for the annual Ipswich Hockey awards, where he presents the prestigious Barry Dancer Excellence award.
As a player, Dancer was once rated the best left halfback in the world. He represented Australia 48 times from 1973-79, being part of the silver medal-winning Australian team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He played in the 1975 and 1978 World Cups before launching into his illustrious coaching career.
"Playing and coaching for Hancocks and Ipswich helped develop my skills and ability in both those areas,'' the fiercely loyal Dancer said. "It provided a strong foundation in the early years of my coaching development.''
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