Richmond triple-premiership coach Damien Hardwick has made a shock choice to stop the AFL membership with one-and-a-half years left on his contract, his standing as a Tigers legend assured.
The precise causes behind Hardwick’s choice are unclear, though normal burnout is known to be an element.
The 50-year-old, a veteran of 307 video games on the helm, will deal with the problem at a press convention on Tuesday.
Hardwick will go down as one among Richmond’s all-time greats, having led the membership to premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020 – the primary of these triumphs ending a 37-year drought.
That success was essential to the Tigers restoring their standing as a contest heavyweight on and off the sphere.
However they appear unlikely to play finals this season, with simply three wins and a draw from the opening 10 rounds, and critics have referred to as an finish to the Tigers’ golden period.
Hardwick gave no indication he was near the tip of his tenure when he spoke after the slender loss to Essendon on Saturday evening.
“We ought to be higher than the place we’re positioned on the ladder,” Hardwick mentioned after the one-point defeat.
“I’ve to take some duty for that, however as a enjoying group we do should additionally.
“We have got to get to work – the season’s nonetheless alive.”
It’s unclear whether or not Hardwick will depart his put up instantly or coach Richmond towards Port Adelaide on Sunday.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae, who labored as an assistant to Hardwick at Richmond from the tip of 2016 to 2020, mentioned he was “shocked” upon listening to the information his former mentor had stop.
“Having labored with ‘Dimma’ (Hardwick), he is an unbelievable coach,” McRae mentioned.
“He is his personal individual and I am certain the Richmond footy membership will salute him effectively if it’s the case.”
Showing on Fox Footy on Monday evening, McRae and Adelaide counterpart Matthew Nicks agreed the strain on senior AFL coaches was immense.
“It is a powerful job. I am not going to deceive you, it is relentless,” McRae mentioned.
“You have to discover the steadiness and he (Hardwick) has achieved it a very long time.”
A former hard-nosed defender who gained premierships with Essendon (2000) and Port Adelaide (2004), Hardwick took over as coach of Richmond in 2010.
The Tigers gained simply six video games in his first season on the helm and endured three consecutive elimination last defeats between 2013-15 earlier than lacking the finals in 2016.
There was big strain on Richmond and Hardwick on the finish of that season however membership powerbrokers resisted the urge to make a change and the choice paid big dividends.
Hardwick steered the Tigers to a history-making premiership in 2017, the primary of three in 4 seasons.
However they’ve performed only one last since then; an elimination defeat to Brisbane final yr.
Hardwick’s profession teaching file stands at 170-6-131.