|Full name||Michael Potter|
24 September 1963 |
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||176 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||82 kg (12 st 13 lb)|
|1989–93||St George Dragons||100||14||0||0||56|
|1984||New South Wales||1||0||0||0||0|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Michael "Mick" Potter (born 24 September 1963 in Parramatta, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and former player. After the 2012 season he was appointed head coach of National Rugby League (NRL) club, the Wests Tigers. Potter was previously head coach of Super League clubs, Catalans Dragons, St Helens and Bradford Bulls. As a player he was a New South Wales State of Origin representative fullback, playing his club football for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (with whom he won the 1984 and 1985 premierships), St George Dragons (whom he captained, and won the 1991 Dally M Medal with) and Western Reds.
Canterbury signed Potter while he was still a student at St. Gregory's, Campbelltown. In only his second year of first-grade, Potter became the first fullback to win the Dally M Player of the Year award. He is a member of Canterburys' 1984 Premiership winning team in their 6-4 win over Parramatta. A second premiership followed when Canterbury defeated St. George, 7-6 in the 1985 Grand Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Potter broke his leg in 1986 and struggled to regain his form at Canterbury. He signed with St. George in 1989 and later became team captain. In 1991, Potter won his second Dally M Player of the Year award. He played fullback for the Dragons in the 8-28 Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Broncos in 1992.
Michael Potter's good form for the Dragons in the back half of the 1992 season saw him in contention for Australia's World Cup Final squad as incumbent Aussie fullback Andrew Ettingshausen was unavailable because of injury, as were Gary Belcher and Dale Shearer. However, the size of the loss to the Broncos may have cost him his chance with Balmain's Tim Brasher and Newcastle's Brad Godden selected for the fullback role instead.
The following season Potter was captain of St. George in their 6-14 loss to Brisbane in the 1993 Grand Final.
Potter retired at the end of the 1993 season but signed to play for one of the four new teams introduced for the 1995 season, the Western Reds, going on to play 21 games for the Perth based team before retiring for good at the end of the 1996 ARL season.
Following his retirement as a player in 1996, Potter started his coaching career as assistant coach for the English Super League team, Bradford Bulls, alongside Matthew Elliot. He remained there until 1999 when he took over the coaching position for the New South Wales Under-17 squad, coaching them to consecutive wins over Queensland.
Potter coached St. George Illawarra's Premier League side for four years before being appointed in February 2006 as Head Coach for the French rugby league team Catalans Dragons, succeeding Steve Deakin. Potter coached the team to the 2007 Challenge Cup Final and in 2008 was named Super League coach of the year.
In May 2010 he announced that he is to leave St. Helens at the end of the 2010 season. In July 2010 Potter signed a 2-year contract to return to Bradford Bulls, this time as head coach, commencing 2011. Despite the club being placed in receivership in 2012, the team was on the verge of making the semis as Potter remained as unpaid coach. "I think I served above and beyond what I needed to do there," Potter said . "I felt obliged to do that. It has made me a better coach. The reasons I want to coach aren't financial but because you love the game."
In October 2012, NRL team West Tigers confirmed that Mick Potter would be the head coach for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. With papers reporting that he had been endorsed by the club's players, Potter said, "I am very happy to be here, there's not many jobs like this. I have served a long apprenticeship and I think I am ready."
It has been reported that Potter will not lead the Tigers beyond the 2014 season, following reports of miscommunication between him and the playing group. This is despite the Tigers appearing to make some progress after finishing 15th in 2013.
- Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 438. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
- Phil Wilkinson. "Legend Q&A". Rugby League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (22 August 2007): pgs 22–23.
- Clarkson, Alan (25 September 1993). "Thanks a lot, Potts". The Sun-Herald (Australia: Fairfax Media). p. 76. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Dragons Appoint Potter" (fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Potter to quit Dragons for Saints". BBC. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- Andrew Webster (25 October 2012). "Mick Potter may have just entered rugby league's version of the ninth circle of hell". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Brad Walter, Emma Partridge (25 October 2012). "Happy Tigers get their man as Potter embraced by stars". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Time's up as Wests Tigers decide to axe coach Mick Potter and punt on David Kidwell, Fox Sports Australia, 26 July 2014