Justin Leppitsch has informed the Club he has decided to step away from his assistant coaching role.

Leppitsch has spent the past 28 years involved as a player and coach at the elite level. He has spent eight of the past 11 years as a member of the Richmond coaching panel.

He started with Richmond in late 2009, before leaving at the completion of the 2013 season to take the senior coaching job at Brisbane. He returned to Richmond at the start of the 2017 season.

“I have always known that eventually this time would come, and I would move on and do other things in my life,” Leppitsch said.

“In many ways the current climate expedited something I have been thinking about for some time and it will help the Club manage through this difficult period.

“I am absolutely committed to Richmond for the remainder of this season and hope we can add to the success we have achieved over the past three seasons. I have loved my time at Richmond, and I am proud of what we have been able to achieve as a Club in my time here.

“Coaching and watching individuals grow as men and players is an amazing and rewarding experience. I would no doubt love to be involved in footy again at some stage in the future, but the time is right to take a break.

“It has been an honour to be a part of two successful eras at two Clubs in my 28 years of playing and coaching. The lessons I have learnt, in good times and bad, have built who I am today and give me the confidence to hit the next phase of my life with enthusiasm.” 

Richmond’s General Manager - Football Performance Tim Livingstone said the Club fully understood Leppitsch’s decision.

“Justin has given magnificent service over a long period of time, not just to this Club, but the game more broadly. We understand his desire to take a break,” Livingstone said.

“We thank him for everything he has given the Club. No matter what the future holds for him, he will always be remembered for the integral role he played in our recent Premiership successes and the door will always be open.”

Richmond senior coach Damien Hardwick said Leppitsch’s knowledge of the game was second-to-none.

“Leppa would challenge, provoke thinking and innovate. He is a great teacher and has been an important part of our coaching team,” Hardwick said. “He can be incredibly proud of the contribution he made to our Club.”