SHARING KNOWLEDGE: Multiple premiership-winning Wests A-Grade coach Brent Nicholls is among the city’s best. See who else made today’s elite group. Picture: Rob Williams
SHARING KNOWLEDGE: Multiple premiership-winning Wests A-Grade coach Brent Nicholls is among the city’s best. See who else made today’s elite group. Picture: Rob Williams

TOP COACHES #35-26: People impacting our local sport

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 being revealed this week contains a few surprises along with many fine memories.

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 and commitment.

Check out the first group today and offer your thoughts on the choices? Who else do you think could have been included from the 1980s until today?

Also see:

Let the countdown begin . . .

35. Stan Cuthbert (tennis)

WORKING with world singles champion Archie Graham has been a highlight and deserved reward for Ipswich District Junior Tennis Association life member Cuthbert.

Tennis Australia award winner Graham has thrived under Cuthbert's direction, clinching four consecutive world titles in International Federation for Intellectual Disability Sport.

Australian co-captain Graham rates the support of the Ipswich tennis icon as one of the main reasons for his incredible record of success.

But Cuthbert's coaching services started well before linking with Graham.

He's been a loyal servant of Ipswich tennis for more than 50 years.

Cuthbert won his first Ipswich Closed men's singles title in 1977 before another success as a player in 1989. He was also a doubles champion in 1971, 1976, 1988 and 1990.

Teaming with Dennis Biggs, he won many veterans doubles titles around Queensland, along with a gold medal at the Masters Games.

Cuthbert has coached many juniors over the years, helping them to enjoy tennis and to overcome challenges like Graham did dealing with Asperger's syndrome.

One of Cuthbert's greatest attributes is encouraging better players to become good role models.

 

Long-serving Ipswich tennis coach Stan Cuthbert with world singles champion and fine role model Archie Graham. Picture: Inga Williams
Long-serving Ipswich tennis coach Stan Cuthbert with world singles champion and fine role model Archie Graham. Picture: Inga Williams

 

34. Arthur Rowe (athletics)

THE former Ipswich Grammar School teacher oversaw one of the most successful periods of sprinting and long jumping in Queensland. That was in the mid and late 1980s in GPS and club competition.

Rowe worked with record-breaking athletes like Lynten Johnson, Rodney Zuyderwky and Scott Chapman, all star performers in their explosive events.

Raceview resident Rowe taught at IGS from 1966-2002, dedicating considerable time and energy to coaching at school and with the Ipswich and District Athletic Club.

"We had a wonderful era of athletics here, boys and girls, in all ages from Little As through to seniors,'' Rowe said.

Having focused on nutrition in recent years and still being fit, Rowe was selected to represent the Australian over-75 hockey team at the 2018 Masters World Cup in Spain. The Aussies struck gold, a fitting bonus for the winger/centre forward.

Impressive performances for Queensland, including using the speed he once taught athletes, propelled him towards his international honour.

 

Fit gold medal-winning Raceview resident Arthur Rowe. Picture: Rob Williams
Fit gold medal-winning Raceview resident Arthur Rowe. Picture: Rob Williams

 

33. Kym Mansell (Aussie rules)

WHEN the Ipswich Eagles became a civilian Aussie rules club in 2001, Kym Mansell "jumped'' at the chance to become a foundation member.

Nearly two decades later, he is still displaying fierce loyalty and club spirit as head coach of the team playing in this year's QFA Division 2 North competition.

Mansell remains the club's most capped player with 312 matches.

Although the Eagles are still chasing an elusive premiership, they are regular finals contenders. Teams guided by Mansell the past three years have all made the playoffs.

He started coaching the Eagles third grade side in 2015, moving into Reserve Grade and senior team roles. The Ea2017 and 2018 Eagles senior sides were grand finalists, finishing second both seasons with Mansell in charge. Last year the Eagles came third and made the preliminary final in the QFA Division 3 series.

The Aussie rules fanatic has played a vital role in building a strong Ipswich framework at the club's Limestone Park base, making a number of lifelong friends through footy.

His ongoing goal is to break the premiership drought for the men's top side, after the Eagles women achieved that feat last season.

 

Passionate Ipswich Eagles coach Kym Mansell. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Passionate Ipswich Eagles coach Kym Mansell. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

32. Scott Barrett (cricket)

THE long-time current Centrals coach is one of the city's leading cricket thinkers and planners.

Barrett has been the strategist developing better players for club and representative cricket, including for Ipswich sides in the Webb and Schaefer shield competitions.

The excellent communicator took over at Centrals in 2009/10 when the team was at a low point, having lost a number of senior players.

Barrett invested heavily in youth and was rewarded with steady improvement, guiding the Kookaburras to their 2017 and 2019 season triumphs.

As former Centrals skipper Wayne Jones accurately offered, Barrett is a great man to have on your team.

"He coached the Ipswich Webb Shield rep team with distinction in the era where Toowoomba teams have held an edge in player skill,'' Jones said.

"His hard work and dedication helps his teams to remain focused and disciplined throughout the season.''

 

Coach Scott Barrett (back left) with the 2018/19 grand final-winning Centrals 1st Grade cricket team.
Coach Scott Barrett (back left) with the 2018/19 grand final-winning Centrals 1st Grade cricket team.

 

31. Mark Dale (baseball)

PEOPLE-minded "Dusty'' Dale joked at the Ipswich Musketeers 50th anniversary celebration in 2005 that anyone could have coached the teams he guided to success.

However, that was Dale in a nutshell. He was a team-minded coach who got the best out of his quality players.

Dusty oversaw the most successful period in Ipswich Musketeers history, playing leading coaching roles in three of the club's five A-Grade premierships between 1985 and 2001.

The Ipswich team, largely made up of home grown talent, was regarded as being almost Claxton Shield strength with so many Queensland players involved.

However, Dale knew how to extract consistently high performances from his charges. He regularly supported his Ipswich players when on Queensland duty in the highly competitive national competition.

He was an astute mentor with a sharp mind for the game.

Along with other exceptional Musketeers coaches like Clive Jones and Alan Wood, Dale promoted the club's motto of "All for one and one for all'', always with his trademark sense of humour.

 

 

Former Ipswich Musketeers coach Mark “Dusty’’ Dale still serves up a great sporting conversation.
Former Ipswich Musketeers coach Mark “Dusty’’ Dale still serves up a great sporting conversation.

 

30. Craig Jesberg (cricket)

HAVING people like Jesberg around is what makes regional sport tick and advance.

Much of Jesberg's success has been working with Laidley-based teams which dominated the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket scene for a decade.

In one season alone, Jesberg oversaw Laidley's incredible record winning the first, second and third grade grand finals, along with the club's under-16 victory. From 2014-16, he was also involved with other club milestones.

He represented Queensland, Australian Country and Queensland Colts teams.

Jezza scored 4184 runs lining up in 138 matches for Waysiders, Redbank Plains, Strollers/Taipans and Laidley in the IWMCA competition from 1983-2015. He's taken those well-travelled skills into coaching.

Jesberg is also an umpire.

He has been actively involved in the current merger proposal between the IWMCA and Ipswich Logan Hornets.

 

Dedicated club and regional cricket coach Craig Jesberg. Picture: Rob Williams
Dedicated club and regional cricket coach Craig Jesberg. Picture: Rob Williams

 

29. Leah Ala-Outinen (indoor netball)

NATIONAL junior coach Ala-Outinen is clearly thrilled to see young players rise through the ranks.

Guiding them to international tournaments is the proverbial icing on the cake for her.

That's what the Ipswich Indoor Sports Centre co-manager achieved in 2016 with an under-14 Australian indoor side contesting a tournament in South Africa.

Before gaining what she called the "bonus'' national honour, Ala-Outinen coached two 13 years girls teams to victory at the Australian junior championships. Her influence was reflected in her focus on helping youngsters improve.

"I just like seeing the girls really work together as a team. Train hard,'' she said. "When they actually come to play the game, you see the skills and the tactical side of things really come out in their game play.''

Ala-Outinen coached the Australian 14 years six-a-side and seven-a-side teams that won both tournaments in Johannesburg.

Well supported by her husband and another successful coach Kevin, Leah is an excellent communicator.

She has devoted many years to learning the game and developing her coaching skills in Ipswich. That included key roles co-ordinating the annual Junior State Championships held at the Ipswich Showgrounds venue, often attracting 100 teams.

In 2016, she was awarded the Indoor Netball Federation of Queensland coach of the year award for the first time.

 

Ipswich indoor netball coach Leah Ala-Outinen enjoys her success in South Africa with the national 14 years team.
Ipswich indoor netball coach Leah Ala-Outinen enjoys her success in South Africa with the national 14 years team.

 

28. Brent Nicholls (hockey)

WHILE not achieving his main success as a state or national coach, the former Australian Hockey League player has been one of the city's most successful A-Grade mentors.

Nicholls has guided women's A-Grade and men's Reserve Grade teams at Wests to multiple top division grand final victories and a multitude of other titles in the Ipswich and intercity competition with Toowoomba.

The master motivator is highly respected by his players and for developing young talent with his professional standards. Before retiring as Wests women's head coach this season, his driving goal was to provide a club structure that breeds success. He achieved that.

Nicholls has also shared in major men's Reserve Grade premierships with Wests and represented Ipswich teams over many years. That included a silver medal victory at the Queensland Masters championships.

Nicholls was a former state under-21 colts and Queensland Academy of Sport halfback.

He represented the Brisbane Blades in the former National Hockey League competition.

 

Wests premiership-winning coach Brent Nicholls.
Wests premiership-winning coach Brent Nicholls.

 

27. Rob Rush (shooting)

AS an international competitor, Rush established a sporting record with incredible history. He was a member of 22 Australian rifle teams from 1976 and was chosen for more than 30 Queensland sides since 1973.

The Ipswich and District Rifle Club stalwart has achieved multiple state and national records.

But it's been his coaching in recent times that has maintained his world-class reputation in the sport.

The 2019 City of Ipswich Coach of the Year played a key set-up role in the Australian team's latest Palma (world championships) shoot victory. Rush's vast and precise knowledge helped the team conquer the windy conditions to produce the highest world score on New Zealand's Trentham Range.

That was Rush's third world championship triumph. His first two winning performances - in 1979 (New Zealand) and 1988 (Sydney) - were as a competitor.

Rush is the only person to have shared in all three achievements.

 

Australian shooting team coach and former international record-setter Rob Rush. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Australian shooting team coach and former international record-setter Rob Rush. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

26. Peter Reeves (athletics)

IPSWICH'S 2018 coach of the year has enjoyed many memorable athletic moments over the years.

Reeves still gains immense satisfaction seeing the runners he works with achieve their goals.

The City of Ipswich Sports award recipient considers himself a mentor and psychologist rather than a person who cracks the proverbial whip demanding more.

"I don't ever think of myself so much as a coach because these people, I just run with them,'' Reeves said.

"I can't keep up with them for a lot of the way . . . but I do everything that they do.

"I think of myself more as an athlete than as a coach.''

Reeves is the chief coach of the highly regarded NANCI (Naturally Athletic Nurtured Culturally in Ipswich) squad. NANCI athletes regularly win state and national events, regularly recording personal best times.

The driving force behind that success moved to the Ipswich area in 1991, having taught at a number of schools around the state.

Now in his 60s, Reeves enjoys sharing decades of knowledge having been mentored by one of Australia's leading coaches Pat Clohessy.

"I learnt so much (from Clohessy) but basically you have got to be a psychologist,'' Reeves said. "If you're a dictator and you just have a brutal one size fits all, it doesn't really work.''

As he challenges the next generation of athletes to better themselves, the Eastern Heights resident is proud of his individual achievements. They include previous state and national championship successes and holding Queensland records in masters competition in a range of events from 800m to 5km.

Former Ipswich coach of the Year Peter Reeves. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Former Ipswich coach of the Year Peter Reeves. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Tomorrow: The countdown continues.

Agree or disagree with the list? Let us know in the comments.