Rodney Eade

Rodney Eade (born 4 April 1958) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach in the Australian Football League. He is a former coach of the Sydney Swans, the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast Football Club. He has, to date, coached 377 games of AFL football, placing him first on the all-time AFL/VFL list of most games coached without a premiership.

Rodney Eade
Eade in June 2017
Personal information
Full name Rodney Eade
Nickname(s) speed, rocket
Date of birth (1958-04-04) 4 April 1958
Place of birth Tasmania
Original team(s) Glenorchy
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Position(s) Wingman
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1976–1987 Hawthorn 229 (46)
1988–1990 Brisbane Bears 030 0(3)
Total 259 (49)
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1996–2002 Sydney 152 (81–69–2)
2005–2011 Western Bulldogs 162 (88–72–2)
2015–2017 Gold Coast 63 (16–46–1)
Club total
377 (185–187–5)


2 (0–2–0)
Total 379 (185–189–5)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1990.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of the end of 2016[1].
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Playing career

Recruited from Glenorchy, while still a schoolboy, young Rodney Eade made his VFL debut for the Hawthorn Hawks as an 18-year-old. Playing with a lot of dash and blistering speed Eade capped out his debut season by playing in the 1976 premiership team. He went on to play in the Hawks 1978, 1983, and 1986 premierships sides. In all the winger played 229 games and kicked 46 goals for Hawthorn between 1976–1987. His time at the Hawks finished when he moved to the Brisbane Bears in 1988. Suffering injuries later on as he got older Eade managed to play 30 games and kicking three goals until his retirement in 1990.

Coaching career

Immediately following his retirement at the end of 1990, Eade took up coaching. In 1991 he was the reserves coach of the Brisbane Bears and led the Bears to the reserves' premiership in that season.[2] He later coached the North Melbourne reserves, and led it to the premiership in 1995. These successes at reserves level gave Eade a strong case for a senior coaching job in 1996.[3]

Sydney Swans

Eade became coach of the Sydney Swans in 1996, taking them to a grand final in which they lost to North Melbourne. In his second year, in the 1997 season, he took Sydney to sixth on the ladder but they were eliminated in the qualifying finals to the Western Bulldogs. In the 1998 season, he took Sydney to a better performance to third on the ladder where they defeated St Kilda in the qualifying finals before being beaten by Adelaide, the eventual premiers, in the semi finals. In the 1999 season he took Sydney to eighth spot on the ladder where they were eliminated in the qualifying finals to Essendon by 69 points. In the 2000 season, he took Sydney to eleventh spot on the ladder, missing out in the finals. In the 2001 season, he took Sydney back into the finals finishing with seventh spot on the ladder before being beaten by Hawthorn in the elimination finals. In the 2002 season, with Sydney's record becoming worse week by week and being placed fourteenth on the ladder, Eade resigned following a narrow Round 12 loss to Geelong; he was replaced by Paul Roos for the rest of the 2002 season and Roos was eventually appointed full-time.

Western Bulldogs

Eade spent 2003 and 2004 as a media writer and commentator before being appointed coach of the Western Bulldogs for the 2005 season. In his first season as their coach he took an under-achieving Bulldogs side within a goal of a finals series berth, after they had finished with less than five wins in the previous two years, but just missed out of the finals finishing in ninth spot on the ladder. In 2006, he took the Bulldogs to a final series, for the first time since Terry Wallace in 2000, where they eliminated Collingwood in the elimination finals but lost to eventual premiers West Coast in the semi finals. In the 2007 season, he took the Bulldogs to thirteenth on the ladder and, consequently, his job was in jeopardy due to the sudden downturn in the team's performance. But rather than firing him, the club limited his expansive duties.[4]

In the 2008 season, Eade coached the Bulldogs to third on the ladder and then to the club's first preliminary final since 1998, but they were eliminated by Geelong who were eventual runners-up. In 2009 and 2010, Eade took the Bulldogs two more consecutive preliminary finals, falling to St Kilda on both occasions.

The Western Bulldogs did not progress well in the 2011 season, being placed twelfth on the ladder. Following a big loss to Essendon by forty nine points in Round 21 it was announced on 17 August 2011 that Eade's contract would not be renewed at the conclusion of the 2011 season.[5] The following day, Eade stepped down as coach of the Bulldogs.[6] He was replaced by caretaker coach Paul Williams for the remainder of the 2011 season.


On 3 October 2011, Eade was appointed by Collingwood to the position of Football and Coaching Strategist, replacing outgoing coach Mick Malthouse, who had originally planned to step into that role after the 2011 season.

Gold Coast Suns

On 30 October 2014, Eade was appointed the Gold Coast Suns' second senior coach, replacing Guy McKenna. On 8 August 2017, with 3 games left in the season, Eade was told his contract would not be renewed. Eade departed immediately and was replaced by Dean Solomon.


Playing statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
1976 Hawthorn 269431302815825N/A0.40.314.
1977 Hawthorn 2622682487632445N/A0.30.411.33.514.72.0N/A0
1978 Hawthorn 2625573628644889N/A0.20.314.53.417.93.6N/A2
1979 Hawthorn 2621963177038748N/A0.40.315.13.318.42.3N/A2
1980 Hawthorn 2620213058438999N/A0.
1981 Hawthorn 2614541706123145N/A0.40.312.14.416.53.2N/A0
1982 Hawthorn 26233531114946069N/A0.
1983 Hawthorn 26221329713242972N/A0.
1984 Hawthorn 26224626010036071N/A0.20.311.84.516.43.2N/A3
1985 Hawthorn 2621532338832176N/A0.
1986 Hawthorn 2614121716423546N/A0.
1987 Hawthorn 2616101887426239240.
1988 Brisbane Bears 2613141785323162130.10.313.
1989 Brisbane Bears 2612131293716639210.10.310.
1990 Brisbane Bears 265106822901950.
Career 259 49 55 3367 1124 4491 844 63 0.2 0.2 13.0 4.3 17.3 3.3 1.4 23

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
1996 Sydney 25186174.0%116
1997 Sydney 231211052.2%616
1998 Sydney 24159062.5%316
1999 Sydney 231112047.7%816
2000 Sydney 221012045.5%1016
2001 Sydney 231211052.2%716
2002 Sydney 1238129.2%14^16
2005 Western Bulldogs 221111050.0%916
2006 Western Bulldogs 241410058.3%816
2007 Western Bulldogs 22912143.2%1316
2008 Western Bulldogs 25168166.0%316
2009 Western Bulldogs 25169064.0%316
2010 Western Bulldogs 251510060.0%416
2011 Western Bulldogs 19712036.8%12^17
2015 Gold Coast 22417120.5%1618
2016 Gold Coast 22616027.3%1518
2017 Gold Coast 19613031.5%1518
Career totals 377 185 187 5 49.07%

^Eade resigned twice mid-season; in 2002, Sydney were fourteenth when he resigned and in 2011, the Western Bulldogs were twelfth when he resigned.

Cricketing career

Eade was a talented junior cricketer, making his senior cricketing debut for Glenorchy Cricket Club aged 14. On his debut Eade scored 31*, sharing a match saving partnership with future Australian Test cricketer Roger Woolley.[9]


  1. "AFL Tables – Rodney Eade – Coaching Record".
  2. Glenn McFarlane (29 September 1991). "Brisbane breaks the ice". The Sunday Herald-Sun. Melbourne, VIC. p. 72.
  3. "Roos' turn to celebrate". The Sunday Age (Sports Liftout). Melbourne, VIC. 1 October 1995. p. 13.
  4. Smith, Patrick. "Eade Cops Rocket after Review." The Australian. 8 November 2007. EBSCOhost: Newspaper Source. Accessed 16 December 2007,
  5. Wilson, Caroline; Brodie, Will (17 August 2011). "Eade to leave Bulldogs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  6. Kogoy, Peter (18 August 2011). "Paul Williams take reins after Rodney Eade walks". The Australian. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  7. "AFL Tables - Rodney Eade - Stats - Statistics".
  8. "Rodney Eade's coaching profile". AFL Tables.
  9. Gandy, M., "Tasmania", Australian Cricket, February 1973, Modern Magazines: Sydney, p. 65.

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