Jim Gavin (footballer)

Jim Gavin (born 1 July 1971) is an Irish Gaelic football manager and former player. He was the manager of the Dublin senior team from 2012 to 2019, becoming the county's most successful manager in terms of major titles won.[1] Gavin is regarded as one of the best managers in the modern game.[2]

Jim Gavin
Personal information
Irish name Séamus Ó Gábháin
Sport Gaelic football
Position Right Half Forward

{{birth date and

Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Occupation Commercial/ Military airline pilot
Years Club
Round Towers Clondalkin
Years County Apps (scores)
Dublin 25 (0–29)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 3
All-Irelands 1
All Stars 0
Allegiance Ireland
Service/branch Irish Defence Forces
Air Corps
Years of service1990–2008
Rank Commandant (OF-3)
Commands heldChief Flying Instructor, Flying Training School
Chief of Military Aviation MINURCAT
Battles/warsMINURCAT (Chad)

Raised in Clondalkin, South Dublin, Gavin was introduced to Gaelic football by his father, a native of Clare and former chairman of the local club team in Clondalkin. He developed his skills in the local street leagues before winning a record six Cumann na mBunscoil medals as a dual player with Clonburris National School. Gavin attended and represented Moyle Park College, before later enjoying championship successes at underage levels with the Round Towers club.

Gavin made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of sixteen when he first linked up with the Dublin minor team. An All-Ireland runner-up as a non-playing substitute, his subsequent military pilot training with the Irish Air Corps ruled him out of any involvement with the under-21 side.[3][4] Gavin joined the Dublin senior team during the 1992–93 league. He went on to play a key role for Dublin over much of the next decade, and won one All-Ireland medal, three Leinster medals and one National Football League medal. Gavin retired from inter-county football following the conclusion of the 2002 championship.

After being involved in team management and coaching in all grades at club level, Gavin guided the Dublin under-21 team to All-Ireland success in 2003. He later claimed two more All-Ireland titles in this grade in 2010 and 2012. Gavin was appointed manager of the Dublin senior team on 1 October 2012. He has since gone on to lead Dublin through a period of unprecedented provincial and national dominance, winning seventeen major honours. Many of the trophies he has accumulated as manager have been won in successive seasons. These include four successive National Leagues, seven successive Leinster Championships and a record-breaking five successive All-Ireland Championships (these include four league-championship doubles). In addition, Gavin has won a further one All-Ireland title, one National League and one O'Byrne Cup as Dublin manager.

Playing career

Gavin was born into a strong GAA family in the Clonburris area of Clondalkin. His father Jim Senior coached neighbourhood teams in the local street leagues at various levels, teams that regularly contained Jim Junior and his brothers Barry and Brian. Jim also represented Clonburris Primary School with some distinction, winning six out of six Cumann na mBunscoil finals in Croke Park - three in football and three in hurling.[5]

Gavin soon went on to attend and represent Moyle Park College. His performances for Round Towers caught the eye of the Dublin selectors, making his senior debut in 1993.[6]

With Dublin, Gavin won the 1995 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.[7]

Management career

Jim Gavin
Personal information
Irish nameSéamus Ó Gábháin
SportGaelic football
Inter-county management
Years County
2012–2019 Dublin
Inter-county titles
County League Province All-Ireland
Dublin 5 7 6

In 2009, he coached Dublin to a Leinster Under 21 Football Championship and progressed to the All-Ireland final where they lost to Cork. He repeated the Leinster victory in 2010, going one better than the previous year by winning the All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship final. His selectors were Declan Darcy, Shane O'Hanlon and Jim Brogan.[8]

Gavin was ratified as senior football manager on 1 October 2012, replacing Pat Gilroy and signing a three-year contract (2013–2015).[9] Michael Deegan, David Byrne and Declan D'Arcy were his selectors for 2013. On 28 April 2013, Dublin won the first of four consecutive National Football League titles a 0–18 to 0–17 win against Tyrone at Croke Park.[10] Then he complained that things were "too drawn out".[11] He led Dublin to the 2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, with the team defeating Kerry in the semi-final on a scoreline of 3–18 to 3–11.[12] Dublin won the final on 22 September 2013, beating Mayo by 2–12 to 1–14.[13][14] In December 2013, Gavin was named the 2013 Philips Sports Manager of the Year.[15]

In September 2015, Dublin again beat Kerry 0–12 to 0–9 to win their second All-Ireland title in three years. The following year in September 2016, Dublin were held to a 2–9 to 0–15 draw in the 2016 All-Ireland Final by Mayo but prevailed in the replay in October, winning back to back All Irelands and their third title in four years with a scoreline of 1–15 to 1–14. In September 2017, he led Dublin to their third All Ireland in a row when they again defeated Mayo by a scoreline of 1–17 to 1–16. This was Gavin's fourth All Ireland Senior Football championship as the Dublin manager. In 2018, he led Dublin to their fourth All-Ireland in a row when they defeated Tyrone by a scoreline of 2–17 to 1–14. This was Gavin's fifth All-Ireland Senior Football championship as the Dublin manager.

Under his management, the Dublin senior football team established a new record for most National League and Championship games unbeaten. In March 2017, when beating Roscommon by 2–29 to 0–14 in a National League game at Croke Park, Dublin set a new record of playing 35 games in League and Championship without defeat.[16] They extended their unbeaten run to 36 games a week later with a win away to Monaghan in the National League.[17] That 36-game unbeaten run finally came to an end on 10 April 2017 in the National League Final where they lost by a single point 0–20 to 1–16 to Kerry, the previous holders of the record which had stood for 84 years.[18]

He stepped down as manager on 30 November 2019.[19]

Career statistics


As of match played 1 October 2016.
Team From To O'Byrne Cup National League Leinster All-Ireland Total
Dublin 1 October 2012 30 December 2019 171205443266151500131021886971283%









  1. Keane, Paul (1 October 2012). "Dublin GAA chiefs appoint Jim Gavin as new football boss". The 42. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  2. "Paddy Cullen hails Dubs 'enigma' Jim Gavin". Irish Examiner. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  3. "Jim Gavin – Dublin's master of cool". Irish Independent. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  4. Crowe, Dermot (8 June 2014). "Jim Gavin: He'd work his socks off for the team". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. "All Ireland Countdown Day 5: Jim Gavin profiled". Round Towers.ie. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  6. "Methodical, meticulous, precise - Jim Gavin's life in the Air Corps prepared him for management". Irish Times. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  7. "Dublin: Profile". Hogan Stand. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010.
  8. "Darcy named Dublin under 21 selector". Hogan Stand. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  9. "Jim Gavin is appointed Dublin football manager". RTÉ News. 1 October 2012.
  10. "Dublin 0-18 Tyrone 0-17". RTÉ Sport. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  11. "Gavin: break is too long". Hogan Stand. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  12. "As it happened: Dublin beat Kerry". RTÉ Sport. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  13. "Bernard Brogan's brace seals Sam for Dubs but it's agony for Mayo yet again in Corker". Irish Mirror. 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  14. "Dublin win 2013 All-Ireland football final". The Score. 23 September 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  15. "'Humbled' Gavin caps a year to remember". Irish Independent. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  16. "Dublin juggernaut rolls on with 21-point pasting of Roscommon to create history in style". The 42. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  17. "Jack McCaffrey's stoppage-time goal sends Dublin past brave Monaghan and into league final". The 42. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  18. "David Moran phenomenal as Kerry sack the Dublin empire to lift league crown". The 42. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  19. "Jim Gavin steps down as Dublin manager". The 42. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  20. Cox, James (23 September 2019). "Jim Gavin will be awarded Freedom of Dublin City". buzz.ie.
Preceded by
Jim McGuinness
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning manager

Succeeded by
Éamonn Fitzmaurice
Preceded by
Éamonn Fitzmaurice
All-Ireland Senior Football Final
winning manager

Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dublin Under-21 Football Manager
Succeeded by
Dessie Farrell
Preceded by
Pat Gilroy
Dublin Senior Football Manager
Succeeded by
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