John Devine (Australian rules footballer)

John Herbert Devine (born 22 June 1940, Colac, Victoria) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Geelong in the Victorian Football League (VFL) during the 1960s, and Tasmanian Football League (TFL) side North Hobart between 1967 and 1974.

John Devine
Personal information
Full name John Herbert Devine
Date of birth (1940-06-22) 22 June 1940
Place of birth Colac, Victoria
Original team(s) Colac
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1960–1966 Geelong 118 (6)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1967–71; 1974-75; 1981 North Hobart 172 (86-82-4)
1986–88 Geelong 66 (28–37–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1966.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

A defender, Devine was a member of Geelong's premiership team in 1963. In 1967 while still under suspension from the VFL 1966 season, he coached Tasmanian Football League side North Hobart over the boundary fence until his six-week suspension was finished. Devine went on that year to lead his very young team from last place in 1966 to a TFL premiership. He was best on ground in the 1967 Tasmanian State Premiership Final in which North Hobart took part, and (now playing as a forward) kicked five goals; the game is part of Australian rules folklore because the supporters of opposing team Wynyard, tore down the goal posts before North Hobart's Dickie Collins could take his kick from point-blank range from a mark just before the siren.

Devine captain-coached two more TFL premierships in 1969 and 1974, and also took out the Tasmanian State Premiership in 1969 following wins over NWFU premiers Latrobe, led and coached by Darrel Baldock, and NTFA premiers Launceston coached by Bob Withers. The State Premiership final against Launceston at York Park saw Devine's North Hobart win by a record 20 goals. He was nicknamed "Dead Legs" due to his loping running style, which belied his speed and hard-at-the-ball playing style. He returned to coach North Hobart in 1981 which by then was a struggling outfit and returned a disappointing one win for the season in taking out the wooden spoon before retiring.

Devine returned to Geelong in an official capacity in 1986, when he became Geelong's coach after the sacking of Tom Hafey. During his tenure, Devine recruited many players such as future Geelong Team of the Century ruck-rover, Garry Hocking, future captain Mark Bairstow, Billy Brownless, Bruce Lindner, Gavin Exell, Barry Stoneham and David Cameron. All players would play a role in the team reaching the VFL Grand Final in 1989, with only Excel missing out due to injury.

At the end of the 1988 season when Geelong finished 10th, Devine was not retained as coach.

Devine was also a Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1979 to 1984 in the Denison electorate.

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