31 January 1963 |
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Craig Coleman (born 31 January 1963) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and coach. He primarily played at halfback and remains fourth on the list of most first-grade games played for Souths, 208.
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Coleman was graded to South Sydney as a seventeen-year-old in 1980. In 1981 he played in the under-23 side coached by Brian Smith which lost only two games in the season and won the Grand Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
During his eleven seasons with the Rabbitohs, Coleman spent three off-seasons playing in England - Widnes, Hull F.C. and Leeds. After he was released by Souths at the end of the 1992 season, he played a fourth off-season in England, for Salford  .
Due to his late return to Australia (after the 1 February signing deadline), Coleman was unable to sign with the Gold Coast for the 1993 season. He threatened to take the Australian Rugby League to court when he was denied the clearance but spent the year playing park football for the Coogee Wombats in Souths' A-grade competition. He was back in first grade in 1994 with the Gold Coast Seagulls and finished his first-grade career playing one season for the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1996 under coach, Tommy Raudonikis .
In 2000, the Rabbitohs were excluded from the National Rugby League competition. Coleman, while working as a baggage handler for Ansett, joined the fight to have the club included in the competition. On the club's return in the 2002 season, Coleman was once again head coach but after a poor season the South Sydney board considered his position in late September. A split decision opted to retain Coleman as coach but revised the coaching staff, appointing Phil Blake (former Souths utility player) as the club's new coaching coordinator with Paul Langmack appointed as defensive coach. Five months later and only eleven days before the official start of the 2003 season, Coleman was sacked by the club after a series of losses in the pre-season trials. Under his coaching, the Rabbitohs won 17 of 54 games (31%) over three playing seasons. 1999 was the most successful of Coleman's coaching seasons in NRL, with the Rabbitohs narrowly missing the semi finals.
- Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
- Tony Adams. "Legend Q&A". Rugby League Week. Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia (5 September 2007): pgs 22–23.
- "South Sydney factbox" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 1999-10-14. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Factbox on careers of Andrew Farrar and Craig Coleman" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-08-14. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Souths factbox" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-03-09. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Coleman hangs on" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Rabbitohs axe Langmack". ABC News. 2004-06-02. Retrieved 2008-07-27.[dead link]
- "Sacked Coleman bitter as Blake takes interim role" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2003-03-03. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- "Craig Coleman Coaching Stats". Sports Data. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- Craig Coleman at the Rugby League Project
- Craig Coleman at stats.rleague.com
- Craig Coleman at NRL Stats
- All Time Players Records from 1908-2015
South Sydney Rabbitohs