Coach Is Hardwick now the second best coach in the league behind Clarkson?

juss

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For me, yes. And clearly.

Consider his record factoring in where Richmond came from. Prior to Hardwick, Richmond had not made finals since 2001 and had made 3 finals series since 1980, where they won their last flag.

In 10 seasons under Hardwick, Tigers have made 5 finals series and won 2 premierships. In one of those years, he took the Tigers to finals after starting 3-10, never been done in history. He took a side that finished 13th in 2016 to Premiers in 2017, the greatest jump in one season the AFL has seen.

We were a basket case when Dimma took over, regular fixtures in the bottom 4, yet Hardwick's record now stands at 130-99-2 from 231 games coached. Not bad at all considering the platform he inherited.

Aside from Clarko, for me Hardwick is the clear number 2 coach in the league, particularly based on his record.

Some wanted him sacked in 2016, but the club stood by him and his record now is outstanding on paper.
 

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BF Tiger

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Is Clarko still the best coach in the league? Or is he just a placeholder until the current Hawthorn iteration is either confirmed or denied as being any good?

That said he can rise, fall and rise again - he doesn’t have to be the best all the time.
 

Forward Press

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Hard to argue with 2 premierships and the best side of the last three years.

However, Adam Simpson is a legitimate candidate.

1 flag in 6 years
Better winning % than Clarko
Took over a side that finished 13th
Never had a losing season
Made finals 5 out of 6 years (only miss was first year and they finished 9th)
Best winning percentage of all sides in the past six seasons, and if it wasn't for Richmond completing their miracle run to the finals in 2014 he also would have had us playing finals in every season.

That being said, premierships are the ultimate measure and 2 is greater than 1.
 

Forward Press

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Is Clarko still the best coach in the league? Or is he just a placeholder until the current Hawthorn iteration is either confirmed or denied as being any good?

That said he can rise, fall and rise again - he doesn’t have to be the best all the time.
The only current coach with 3 flags under his belt.

If Richmond win another under Hardwick then we can have a serious conversation imo.
 

Shane Heard

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One Neil Allen Balme has a lot to do with the recent success of the RFC.

He got the whole joint into order and calmed the farm.

Dimma is a good coach. Great people skills. Everything turned around when he put more faith in his leadership group and stopped trying to take on the whole load.

He’s a good man Hardwick. Saw his failings a few years ago and adapted. Took on a new approach.

Balme has a bit to do with all that.
 

BF Tiger

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The only current coach with 3 flags under his belt.

If Richmond win another under Hardwick then we can have a serious conversation imo.
Four flags actually, and I recognise that he is a great coach. But was Sheedy still the greatest after four flags in his last few years at Essendon... or GWS. Was Hafey still the greatest at Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney?

Just don’t think historical flag count is the be all and end all. His first flag is over a decade ago and the three-peat is not even in the rear view mirror any more.
 

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Kwality

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Is Clarko still the best coach in the league? Or is he just a placeholder until the current Hawthorn iteration is either confirmed or denied as being any good???

That said he can rise, fall and rise again - he doesn’t have to be the best all the time.
Did you ignore 2008?
Years/flags might put Clarko a long way ahead of the contenders for 2nd best .... ?
 

Conca Cuddle

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I've read a few comments on here that the core of Richmond's premierships sides were drafted before Hardwick was coach, so a lot of the credit should go to people before him, that he came in when Richmond were already on an upward trajectory.

What do Tiger supporters think of this?
Agree that some of our very best players were drafted before Damien (Rance, Cotchin, Jack) However we finished 15th in 2009 and were a pretty ordinary football side. If I recall correctly Damien was at the helm when we recruited both Houli and Grigg, who would ultimately play a pivotal role in both premiership sides.
 

Kanga Commando

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Clarko is on his third rebuild, with flags in each build.
One of them is a 3-peat, and damn close to a 4-peat, + 1 prelim.

During that rebuild he lost one of the best players of all time.

If he wins a flag in this next iteration, end of discussion.
Edit : But really, until they both retire... how do we actually know.
 
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BF Tiger

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Did you ignore 2008?
Years/flags might put Clarko a long way ahead of the contenders for 2nd best .... ?
I’m just asking the question when does history count for not much?

Hypothetical... if Clarko coaches the Hawks for 10 more years of middling results but we see Hardwick win one more, Simpson win two more, Buckley win a few, Scott win a second and some other individuals triumph is Clarko still the current best in 2029?
 

juss

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Well there's no doubt over the last 3 recent years Hardwick is no.1 Flag, PF, Flag, but I have it to Clarkson over the journey.
 

Kwality

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Four flags actually, and I recognise that he is a great coach. But was Sheedy still the greatest after four flags in his last few years at Essendon... or GWS. Was Hafey still the greatest at Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney?

Just don’t think historical flag count is the be all and end all. His first flag is over a decade ago and the three-peat is not even in the rear view mirror any more.
So you are saying Clarko is past it OR simply desperate for the Richmond coach to be numero uno.
 

Kwality

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I’m just asking the question when does history count for not much?

Hypothetical... if Clarko coaches the Hawks for 10 more years of middling results but we see Hardwick win one more, Simpson win two more, Buckley win a few, Scott win a second and some other individuals triumph is Clarko still the current best in 2029?
Based on the 3peats, back to back GFs ... its on the board, come back when someone even gets into back to back GFs ....
 

Forward Press

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Four flags actually, and I recognise that he is a great coach. But was Sheedy still the greatest after four flags in his last few years at Essendon... or GWS. Was Hafey still the greatest at Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney?

Just don’t think historical flag count is the be all and end all. His first flag is over a decade ago and the three-peat is not even in the rear view mirror any more.
Obviously a brain fart there.

True, if he is middling until 2030 then he could well be overtaken if the competition start winning multiple flags, but as of 2020 Clarkson is still ahead of the pack imo and will retain it for a couple of years at least.
 

Richo83

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I've read a few comments on here that the core of Richmond's premierships sides were drafted before Hardwick was coach, so a lot of the credit should go to people before him, that he came in when Richmond were already on an upward trajectory.

What do Tiger supporters think of this?
The league's history is littered with talented sides which haven't done much. What's more, most of Richmond's stars were very young and still needed developing when Hardwick came around.

Hardwick started coaching in the 2010 season. At that time:

Riewoldt was a skinny 21 year old who had kicked 57 goals in 46 games. Not bad, but not amazing either. At the time I thought Richmond needed someone with a bigger presence.

Cotchin had played two injury plagued seasons, and had shown flashes of brilliance, but had three brownlow votes from 25 games.

Rance had played one season and looked like a newborn giraffe trying to play football

Houli was at Windy Hill

Edwards had played three fairly inconsistent seasons

Martin was playing his first season

In Hardwick's first season in charge, his ruckman was Angus Graham, his small forwards were Ben Nason and Andrew Collins, his key backs were Kelvin Moore and Luke McGuane (not bad players, but not a patch on Astbury and Rance) and his "livewires" were guys like Nahas and a Morton. Yes he had some young guns, but he also had a lot of crud. Richmond had no real consistent history of good recruiting or list management. Deledio was Richmond's best player by default, and he under-performed massively under Wallace. Cousins was the "big fish" and flopped.

You're right, every coach needs a good recruiter, but a good coach knows how to utilise that talent to create a team. Sides like Melbourne, Carlton, GWS etc. have had a litany of high draft picks, only to not perform quite as well or not perform really at all. Hardwick has also squeezed as much talent out of players like Broad, Grigg, Townsend, McIntosh, Ellis etc that he can. It's hard to believe though that all this is either luck or someone else's work. I remember when Hardwick started coaching (although this was a constant wish in the 90s and 00s) that I hoped someone would take Richmond to the finals. That Hardwick has won two grand finals just shows what an amazing job he's done. Richmond used to be bad at an institutional, fundamental level. I remember when they were the butt of all bigfooty jokes. Hardwick has changed that. Not singlehandedly, but he's had a major hand in it.
 

jackenny

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The league's history is littered with talented sides which haven't done much. What's more, most of Richmond's stars were very young and still needed developing when Hardwick came around.

Hardwick started coaching in the 2010 season. At that time:

Riewoldt was a skinny 21 year old who had kicked 57 goals in 46 games. Not bad, but not amazing either. At the time I thought Richmond needed someone with a bigger presence.

Cotchin had played two injury plagued seasons, and had shown flashes of brilliance, but had three brownlow votes from 25 games.

Rance had played one season and looked like a newborn giraffe trying to play football

Houli was at Windy Hill

Edwards had played three fairly inconsistent seasons

Martin was playing his first season

In Hardwick's first season in charge, his ruckman was Angus Graham, his small forwards were Ben Nason and Andrew Collins, his key backs were Kelvin Moore and Luke McGuane (not bad players, but not a patch on Astbury and Rance) and his "livewires" were guys like Nahas and a Morton. Yes he had some young guns, but he also had a lot of crud. Richmond had no real consistent history of good recruiting or list management. Deledio was Richmond's best player by default, and he under-performed massively under Wallace. Cousins was the "big fish" and flopped.

You're right, every coach needs a good recruiter, but a good coach knows how to utilise that talent to create a team. Sides like Melbourne, Carlton, GWS etc. have had a litany of high draft picks, only to not perform quite as well or not perform really at all. Hardwick has also squeezed as much talent out of players like Broad, Grigg, Townsend, McIntosh, Ellis etc that he can. It's hard to believe though that all this is either luck or someone else's work. I remember when Hardwick started coaching (although this was a constant wish in the 90s and 00s) that I hoped someone would take Richmond to the finals. That Hardwick has won two grand finals just shows what an amazing job he's done. Richmond used to be bad at an institutional, fundamental level. I remember when they were the butt of all bigfooty jokes. Hardwick has changed that. Not singlehandedly, but he's had a major hand in it.
People forget how poor Richmond were. That turn-around happened under Hardwick.

I mean, it wasn't even the talent of the players that was an issue. It was the culture and laziness. People forget the laziness and the hard talk players went through a few ago, led on a player level by Ivan Maric (an average player but a hard worker who wanted success for his club and knew they needed to pull their thumbs out). Dimma was part of that shift in mentality, so should be commended for it.

Dimma also changed his coaching philosophy, too. At one point he was very intent on turning Richmond into a possession-heavy team like Hawthorn. That changed, and he tailored the game plan to what players he actually had and it paid off hugely.
 

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