Justin Leppitsch

Justin Leppitsch (born 1 October 1975) is a former professional Australian rules footballer and the former coach of the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Justin Leppitsch
Leppitsch with Richmond in March 2019
Personal information
Full name Justin Leppitsch
Date of birth (1975-10-01) 1 October 1975
Place of birth Melbourne, Australia
Original team(s) Southern Stingrays
Draft No. 4, 1992 National Draft, Brisbane Bears
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 98 kg (216 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
19931996 Brisbane Bears 044 0(58)
19972006 Brisbane Lions 183 (136)
Total 227 (194)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1999 Victoria 1 (0)
International team honours
19992000 Australia 4 (0)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2007; 2008 Suncoast Lions (AFLQSL) 4 (4–0–0)
2014–2016 Brisbane Lions (AFL) 66 (14–52–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2006.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2016.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early life

Leppitsch was raised in Berwick, Victoria. In 1992, he played in the newly established VSFL Under-18 competition (later known as the TAC Cup) with Southern Stingrays, where he was runner-up for the Morrish Medal,[1] and caught the attention of Brisbane Bears talent scouts. He was selected by Brisbane at pick 4 in the 1992 AFL Draft.[2]

AFL career

Leppitsch in 2006

He made his debut in 1993 for the Bears as a 17-year-old, but was then dropped back to play for West Brisbane where he hurt his knee and required a complete knee reconstruction. He was unable to play football for 15 months.[3]

His breakout season was in 1999 under new coach Leigh Matthews, when he won the Brisbane Best and Fairest award, was selected as All-Australian for the first time[2] and represented Australia in International Rules.

Under Matthews, Leppitsch became a key component of the Lions spine, playing centre half back in the club's three premiership sides from 2001 to 2003 and earned All-Australian status three times.

Late in his career, Leppitsch battled a chronic hamstring-related back injury which inevitably ended his career due to the resulting calf muscle wastage. He announced his immediate retirement from the AFL on 5 June 2006.[4]

He was inducted into the Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame in 2012.[5]

Coaching career

In October 2006, Leppitsch had accepted a position as an assistant coach with the Brisbane Lions. He later signed with Richmond to be an assistant coach in September 2009.[6] In September 2013, Leppitsch signed a three-year contract to be the senior coach of the Brisbane Lions.[7]

On 29 August 2016, Leppitsch was sacked by the Lions after three seasons with the club,[8] despite being granted a one-year contract extension at the start of the year which would have seen him remain at the club until the end of the 2017 season.[9]

On 6 October 2016, Leppitsch returned to Richmond as an assistant coach.[10] Twelve months after being sacked as coach of the Brisbane Lions, he played a major role in the club's 2017 AFL premiership win, coaching the forwards.[11][12]


Playing statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1993 Brisbane Bears 23442271239351.
1994 Brisbane Bears 2345419524511.
1995 Brisbane Bears 231748965415048170.
1996 Brisbane Bears 231945231524920157182.
1997 Brisbane Lions 232250381866324997202.
1998 Brisbane Lions 231626171455219764191.
1999 Brisbane Lions 2325141224286328129300.
2000 Brisbane Lions 23221112207127334125290.
2001 Brisbane Lions 23116369351044340.
2002 Brisbane Lions 2323121020882290115320.
2003 Brisbane Lions 2322103193105298126320.
2004 Brisbane Lions 232462173110283108400.
2005 Brisbane Lions 2314001448022480290.
2006 Brisbane Lions 234103219512020.
Career 227 194 134 1893 879 2772 1020 278 0.9 0.6 8.3 3.9 12.2 4.5 1.2

Coaching statistics

 W  Wins  L  Losses  D  Draws  W%  Winning percentage  LP  Ladder position  LT  League teams
Season Team Games W L D W % LP LT
2014 Brisbane Lions 22715031.8%1518
2015 Brisbane Lions 22418018.2%1718
2016 Brisbane Lions 22319013.6%1718
Career totals 66 14 52 0 21.2%


  1. Ashley Browne (2 September 1992). "Northern back takes Morrish". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. p. 28.
  2. Walls, Robert (10 July 2004). "Milestones for greats". The Age.
  3. Voss, Michael (11 June 2006). "Competitive fire burned deep in Leppa". The Sunday Age.
  4. Stafford, Andrew (6 June 2006). "Leppitsch calls it a day as injuries take their toll". The Age.
  5. Hall of Fame – Justin Leppitsch Archived 30 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Hogan, Jesse (18 September 2009). "Tigers snare Leppitsch, Lade". BrisbaneTimes.com.au. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  7. Lions confirm Leppitsch to replace Voss
  8. "Brisbane Lions sack coach Justin Leppitsch after 'bitterly disappointing' AFL season". ABC. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  9. Whiting, Michael (7 March 2016). "'Never any doubt': Lions confirm Leppitsch contract extension". AAP. Australian Football League. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  10. "Leppitsch returns to Richmond". richmondfc.com.au. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  11. Edmund, Sam (4 October 2017). "The coach: How Dimma guided Tigers". Herald Sun. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  12. "Leppitsch lives Tiger dream after Lions nightmare". The Morning Bulletin. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  13. Justin Leppitsch's player profile at AFL Tables
  14. "Justin Leppitsch's coaching profile". AFL Tables.

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