The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) have congratulated Wayne Bennett, who will coach his 900th Premiership match when his Dolphins play Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Magic Round Brisbane on Saturday.
Bennett’s premiership coaching career began with the Canberra Raiders in 1987 (28 games), with stints following at Brisbane Broncos (631 matches 1988-2008 and 2015-2018), St George Illawarra (79 matches 2009-2011), Newcastle Knights (75 matches 2012-2014) and South Sydney Rabbitohs (77 matches 2019-2021), and as inaugural coach of the Dolphins (eight matches).
Bennett’s career record so far stands at 562 wins, 323 losses and 14 draws, for a winning percentage of 62.5. ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said he can only marvel at the career of Wayne Bennett – what he has done for the game and what he has been able to achieve out of the game is phenomenal.
“Records may be meant to be broken, but it’s almost certain this one will not be.”
“Wayne is simply one of a kind. He has a presence, aura, and charisma which is found rarely in anyone. There is only a select few. Put that with care and unwavering loyalty to his players and you have the champion coach, Wayne Bennett.
“On behalf of the game, I congratulate him on this momentous achievement.”
Bennett holds the record for most games (899) and most wins by a first-grade coach (562), as well as most consecutive seasons as coach of a premiership club (21 years with Brisbane Broncos).
He steered the Broncos to the finals 22 years out of 25 and 17 seasons in succession between 1992 and 2008. NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said Wayne has had an immeasurable impact on the game.
Not only as a coach, but as a mentor to hundreds of players throughout his career, an inspiration to coaches at all levels and a character admired by fans.
“Over the course of his career, he has coached over 378 players. As a remarkable manager of men, he has produced remarkable results along the way.900 games as an NRL coach, in one of the most competitive environments in professional sport, will be celebrated by everyone in the game, not just on Saturday.
“Over five decades Wayne has remained relevant, at the forefront of football strategy and creating a high performing team environment.”