Brian Smith (rugby league)
|Born||14 March 1954|
|Height||172 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
Brian Smith (born 14 March 1954) is an Australian coach and former player of rugby league football. He is the current coach of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. He previously coached the United States national team.
Smith played for St. George and South Sydney Rabbitohs (1975–1979), appearing in a total of 31 first grade games. However, Smith is best known as a coach, having been at the helm of Illawarra Steelers, where he took over for the 1984 season, before moving to Hull, St. George Dragons, Bradford Bulls, Parramatta Eels, the Newcastle Knights and, most recently, at the Sydney Roosters. He is the older brother of former Great Britain national team coach Tony Smith and is father of former Tonga coach Rohan Smith and Keegan Smith, the strength and power coach at the Roosters.
In the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership, Smith played 14 first grade games for St. George in 1974, and 17 games for the South Sydney Rabbitohs between 1975 and 1979, appearing in a total of 31 first grade games.
Smith began coaching first grade rugby league in the NSWRL competition in 1984, where he became coach of the Illawarra Steelers, where he remained until the end of 1987 season. While coaching Illawarra in 1986, Smith proposed using two referees. This did eventuate in 2009.
Smith returned to Australia to coach the St George Dragons for the 1991 season. He took the club to consecutive Grand Finals in 1992 (in which his younger brother Tony played from the Dragons' interchange bench) and 1993, losing both to Wayne Bennett's Brisbane Broncos. Smith would remain at St George until 1995.
Smith returned to England for one year in 1996 to coach the Bradford Bulls to the 1996 Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium, London in front of 78,550 fans. For Smith it would be another major final loss as Bradford went down to St Helens 32-40.
Returning to Australia, from 1997 until mid-2006, Smith coached the Parramatta Eels. He took them to the 2001 NRL Grand Final in what was the Eels first Grand Final since their 4-2 win over Canterbury-Bankstown in 1986. Facing the Eels would be the Andrew Johns led Newcastle Knights. The Eels, minor premiers in 2001, were raging hot favorites to win the Grand Final but 4 converted and unanswered tries to the Knights in the first 24 minutes of the game was too big a lead for Parramatta to overcome. The Knights would go on to hand Smith his third Grand Final loss with a 30-24 win in front of 90,414 at Stadium Australia. Smith became the longest-serving coach for the Parramatta Eels before he resigned as coach on 15 May 2006, with assistant coach Jason Taylor taking over as caretaker coach for the remainder of the season. Smith had a short spell with his former club Bradford in an advisory role during the summer of 2006.
In 2007, Smith took up coaching duties with the Newcastle Knights. In July 2009, he signed a deal for the 2010 with the Sydney Roosters and obtained a release from the Knights. On 15 August 2009 Smith effectively quit the Knights, with understudy Rick Stone to act as caretaker coach for the remainder of the season.
For the 2010 NRL season Smith took over as Roosters coach from Brad Fittler who had been sacked the previous year. At the 2010 Dally M Awards Smith was named coach of the year. The Roosters reached the 2010 NRL Grand Final but were defeated by Wayne Bennett's St. George Illawarra Dragons. Smith also worked as an assistant coach for Steve McNamara for the English team in their 2010 Four Nations campaign.
On 31 May 2015 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats announced on Sky Sports coverage of the Magic Weekend ahead of their game versus Castleford Tigers that Smith had agreed to take up the position of head coach. Former coach James Webster put Smith in touch with the club via text message.
- Lester, Gary, ed. (1984). Rugby League: Action '85. Sydney: Fairfax Publishing. p. 30. ISBN 0-909558-83-3.
- "Tonga boast star power for Kiwis Test". TVNZ. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "Trent Robinson undecided on future at Knights". The Herald. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- MacDonald, John (1986-10-09). "The season of change, upsets and challenges". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). p. 36. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- hullfc.com. "Coaches and Captains". History. Hull FC. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Brian Smith signed to save Roosters Brisbane Times, 19 July 2009
- Roosters dump Smith smh.com.au, 5 September 2012
- "Smith takes charge of Wakefield". superleague.co.uk. 2015-05-31. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
1982 - 1983
St. George Dragons