For the first time in Richmond’s history, it has the competition’s longest-serving coach.
Alastair Clarkson’s departure from Hawthorn at the end of the 2021 season leaves Damien Hardwick as AFL football’s most experienced coach currently.
Hardwick will be entering his 13th season as the Tigers’ coach in 2022, which is one more than Chris Scott at Geelong and John Longmire with Sydney.
The triple Richmond premiership coach has guided the Tigers in 274 games all-up, placing him a clear No. 1 at Punt Road for total games coached, ahead of Tommy Hafey with 248 games and then Jack Dyer, 222 games.
When Hafey and Dyer were coaching, neither of them ever had the longest coaching tenure in the competition.
Allan Jeans held that record throughout Hafey’s Richmond reign, having started coaching St Kilda in 1961 and continuing through to the end of the 1976 season. Hafey coached the Tigers from 1966-1976.
Dyer occupied the coaching position at Punt Road from 1941-1952, but that paled in comparison to Collingwood’s Jock McHale, who was in charge of the Magpies for a staggering 37 years – from 1912-1949.