Speakers Profile - Ron Barassi

Travels From:

Fee Range: E

Former coach of the Sydney Swans Football Club, Ron Barassi has had an exceptional career in football where, over a 25 year period, two out of every three years saw him in a Grand Final as either a player, Vice-Captain, Captain or Coach.

Ron began his professional career in football in 1953, joining the Melbourne Football Club - Australian Football's first and oldest club - at the age of seventeen. In his twelve years with the club, he played in eight Grand Finals and six Premierships and was also Vice-Captain from 1957-1959 and Captain from 1960-1964. In 1965, Ron was appointed Captain and Coach of Carlton at a time when Carlton had reached their lowest VFL ladder position in the Club's history - third last. Within three years, he had taken the team to number one - Carlton winning their first Premiership in nineteen years. In 1968, Ron retired as a player, but remained as Coach of Carlton - a liaison which continued to prove successful, with two Grand Finals and another Premiership in 1970.

Ron took a one-year break from coaching in 1972, but was back in full force in 1973 when he was appointed Coach of the flailing North Melbourne team. Again he showed his worth as Coach, as he took the team from the bottom of the Premiership ladder to five Grand Finals (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978), including two Premierships in 1975 and 1977. With such a reputation for success, Ron was appointed in 1981 as Coach of the underdogs, Melbourne, whose average over the previous four seasons was second last. Once again, he began a rebuilding process with the team which began to bear fruit in 1987.

Ron retired from all coaching duties in 1985, only to be dramatically recalled to coach the Sydney Swans Football Club, a team on the bottom of the AFL ladder, in 1993.

Throughout his career, Ron has been involved in 17 Grand Finals (as player or coach) with 10 flags; and in over 50 Finals (as player or coach).