Legends Darrel Baldock and Allan Jeans, both of whom have passed away this year, at a St Kilda Hall of Fame dinner in 2003

AFL Farewells Coaching Great

Friday, July 15, 2011

AFL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou says Allan Jeans will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches the game has seen.

Jeans, who passed away on Tuesday night from respiratory failure, is a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame for his feats as a four-time premiership coach with St Kilda and Hawthorn.
 
And Demetriou said he was one of the game's greats.

"On behalf of the AFL, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Allan's wife Mary and his family and many friends in the football community," he said.
 
Demetriou said that beyond football Jeans' contribution extended to shaping the lives of those who came under his guidance.
 
"Allan 'Yabby' Jeans was more than just a football coach. He was also a mentor and a revered figure to many players during a decorated career that spanned four decades.
 
"Having played under him at Hawthorn, I know what a tremendous influence he was on not just the careers of many players, but also their lives off the field."

AFL General Manager, Football Operations, Adrian Anderson, said the football world was mourning the passing of one of the finest coaches the game had ever seen.

"In many ways Allan was the father of the modern game - he was a true visionary and a brilliant orator who could get his players to pay the price whenever the game was on the line.

"He had a profound influence on the lives and values of many he coached. Above all that, he was a true statesman and a humble gentleman who cared deeply for the game and the spirit of the game.

"The last game Allan attended was the 2010 drawn Grand Final in the Ryder Room with his wife Mary and his fellow Life Members of the AFL. Allan liked what he saw and we are forever indebted to Allan Jeans for his contribution to our great game. My thoughts and condolences are with Mary, Peter, David, Louise, Liz and family."

Former VFL/AFL Chairman and CEO Ross Oakley played under Jeans at St Kilda.

"Allan was my only coach at a professional level and he had a profound impact on my football and my life," Oakley said. :He was a father-like figure who had an ability to make the complicated seem simple, with his down to earth approach to coaching. 



"To Allan you either could play, or could not play and many a player dwelt on this assessment coming out of Allanís mouth. He carries with him the honour of being the only St Kilda premiership coach in history.

"Yabby was an honest and humble man of great integrity who loved the game and was constantly seeking to improve its appeal.

"As chairman of the commission I had many conversations with him that started with 'Laddie' and ended with me knowing I had gained something special from the exchange. Allan Jeans will be sadly missed by the St Kilda Football Club, the Hawthorn Football Club and the football fraternity generally, and I convey my heartfelt condolences to Mary and the family."
 
AFLCA CEO and former St Kilda captain Danny Frawley said Jeans had a profound influence on many people both on and off the field.

"Not only was he a great coach he was also a great man," he said. "The thoughts of our current members, and all of Allan's former coaching contempories, are with Mary and family at this sad time."

Jeans played 77 games and kicked 27 goals for St Kilda between 1955-59. He later coached St Kilda between 1961-76, including its first and only premiership in 1966.
 
He then became coach of Hawthorn in 1981, leading the club to three premierships in 1983, 1986 and 1989. He also coached Richmond in 1992.
 
Jeans coached a total of 575 games and stands behind only Jock McHale, Mick Malthouse and Kevin Sheedy for the most VFL/AFL games coached. In 26 years of coaching, his win-loss ratio was 62 per cent.

View a video tribute from AFL General Manager, Football Operations, Adrian Anderson

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