Wayne Bennett AM

Wayne Bennett AM

Wayne Bennett is "The Greatest Coach Ever". Wayne was awarded this title after coaching the Brisbane Broncos to another victorious win in the 2006 Rugby League Grand Final.

Key Points

  • Wayne Bennett AM is recognised in Rugby League circles as one of the most influential and innovative of our modern day coaches
  • Was inducted in 2012 to the Sport Australian Hall of Fame
  • Current coach of the Newcastle Knights, the club owned by Nathan Tinkler
  • Former head coach for the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos, Wayne is a former Australian Kangaroos player and Queensland Police officer
  • Longest serving coach of a single club in the history of the game in Australia, has one of the best winning percentages in Rugby League and ranks second in the number of Premierships won as a coach at the elite level
  • Well known and well respected throughout Australia, Wayne Bennett is in demand as a speaker on leadership and teamwork, and has addressed many high-profile companies


Wayne was awarded the title of ‘The Greatest Coach Ever’ after coaching the Brisbane Broncos to another victorious win in the 2006 Rugby League Grand Final.

Wayne coached the Brisbane Broncos for his 19th consecutive season in 2006 with an amazing win over the Melbourne Storm. The Broncos won 6 out of 6 Grand Finals and the 2006 win was for Wayne ‘the sweetest of them all’. The Broncos were also named Queensland team of the year with Wayne Bennett picking up his third Sport and Recreation Queensland Sport Coach of the Year award in 2006.

Bennett joined the Brisbane Broncos as their inaugural coach, and guided the club to five Premierships from as many grand final appearances between 1992 and 2000.  In addition, the Broncos won two World Club Challenge titles and three pre-season titles.

In 1998 he was selected to coach the Australian national team.

He has since set coaching records for the most grand final wins (six with the Broncos and one with St. George Illawarra) and most seasons with a single club (21) in Australian rugby league history. The Broncos’ success in 1997, winning both the Telstra Cup and the Visa World Club Championship, resulted in Wayne being named the Super League Coach of the Year.

As a player, Wayne Bennett represented Queensland, in seven matches against NSW from 1971 to 1973, toured New Zealand with the Australian World Cup team in 1971 and played in two provincial tour matches.

Wayne started his coaching career in 1976, his first appointment with Ipswich Brothers, then went on to coach Brisbane clubs Souths and Brothers, taking Souths to two grand finals in the 80s.  Winning the 1985 grand final with Souths by beating a star-studded Wynnum Manly side that included Wally Lewis, Gene Miles, Bob Lindner, Colin Scott and Greg Dowling was Wayne’s greatest achievement at Brisbane club level.

Wayne left club coaching the following season to become Queensland Director of Coaching, and then accepted a full-time coaching position with the Canberra Raiders in 1987 taking them to their first-ever grand final, and being named Coach of the Year.

Wayne was coach of the successful Queensland State of Origin sides in 1987 and 1988, and was appointed the inaugural Queensland Super League coach for the 1997 Tri-Series against NSW and New Zealand.  He made a successful return to State of Origin coaching in 1998, guiding the Queensland team to an historic 2-1 series victory over NSW. 

He was paid the ultimate compliment that year when chosen as the Australian coach for the final two Tests of the ANZAC series against New Zealand.  Down one-nil in the series, under Wayne’s coaching Australia clinched the final two Tests to secure the Trans-Tasman trophy.

Season 1998 was by far his most successful in terms of results.  Wayne created history by becoming the first coach to steer his club, his state and his country to victory in their respective series. 

It was also a year of major personal recognition with Wayne being named the Queensland Coach of the Year by the Queensland Sport Federation, and Australian Domestic Team Coach of the Year by the Australian Coaching Council.  He was also named Queensland Father of the Year.

On the field, Season 2000 came close to emulating his feats of 1998.  The Broncos won both the minor and major Premierships and Bennett was again named Coach of the Year, his third such award in the national premiership. Because of his extraordinary success, it came as little surprise when the Queensland Government wanted Rugby League added to the Queensland Academy of Sport program in 2001, that Wayne Bennett was appointed the Director. Wayne was appointed as the Coach of the Kangaroo Team for 2004.

Wayne left the St George Illawarra Dragons at the end of the 2011 season, joining the Newcastle Knights as coach on a four year deal.

Wayne has also achieved considerable success as an author, with sales of his publication Don’t Die With The Music In You reaching 50,000 copies in its fourth reprint. An earlier publication, League’s A Lot Like Life, sold almost 20,000 copies.

The insight into Wayne Bennett and his family on the popular ABC series Australian Story was another outstanding success.

His story is still the most requested story to be repeated by the national broadcaster.

Well known and well respected throughout Australia, Wayne is in demand as a speaker on leadership and teamwork, and has addressed staff from many high-profile companies.

Presentation Topics
  • Rugby
  • Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Wayne was spectacular. You could hear a pin drop in the room while he spoke. He was to the point and right on the point that I was hoping that he would cover, i.e. Teamwork. He is so respected and it is very clear why he is so respected. Our group really enjoyed and appreciated Wayne's talk. In short, Wayne far exceeded my expectations.
ARA Group

Wayne was brilliant and had us all hanging on ever word spoken.
Cooks Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd

Yesterday afternoon, colleagues were still speaking about Wayne and I heard guys quoting some of the points mentioned by Wayne. One of my colleagues said some of Wayne's comments caused him to do some serious soul-searching at the weekend. I also have been thinking frequently of the things Wayne said. For the duration of Wayne's talk, there was absolute silence in the room, nobody moved. Everyone was leaning forward so as not to miss a word. He made such a remarkable impression on the group. Wayne's talk fitted perfectly with our company and I could not think of a speaker who would have done a better job.
ARA Group

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