Craig McRae

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Craig McRae
Personal information
Full name Craig McRae
Nickname(s) Fly[1]
Date of birth (1973-09-22) 22 September 1973 (age 50)
Place of birth South Australia
Original team(s) Glenelg (SANFL)
Draft No. 22, 1993 Pre-season Draft, Brisbane Bears
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 72 kg (159 lb)
Club information
Current club Collingwood (head coach)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995–1996 Brisbane Bears 039 0(56)
1997–2004 Brisbane Lions 156 (176)
Total 195 (232)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1999 South Australia 1
International team honours
1999 Australia 2
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2022– Collingwood 51 (38–13–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of the 2004 season.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of the 2023 season.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Craig McRae (born 22 September 1973) is a former Australian rules footballer and the current senior coach of the Collingwood Football Club.

Playing career[edit]

Glenelg Football Club[edit]

McRae played for Glenelg Football Club in the SANFL from 1993 until 1994, for a total of 41 games and 59 goals.[2]

Brisbane Bears[edit]

McRae was drafted by AFL club Brisbane Bears as the 22nd pick in the 1994 draft and had an immediate impact, kicking two goals in his first game in 1995, and played every game of that year. McRae was known for his ability to kick goals from beyond the fifty-metre line, his fierce tackling, and his scouting of the ball spilled from the hands of taller players.[2] He played for the Brisbane Bears from 1995 until 1996 for a total of 39 games and 56 goals.[2]

Brisbane Lions[edit]

At the end of the 1996 season, when Brisbane Bears merged with Fitzroy Lions resulting in the formation of the Brisbane Lions, McRae was one of the players from the Bears to join the Lions. He played for the Brisbane Lions from 1997 until 2004 for a total of 156 games and 176 goals.[2] He was a member of Brisbane Lions' 2001, 2002 and 2003 premiership sides. McRae retired from professional football after the 2004 Grand Final loss to Port Adelaide.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Richmond Football Club assistant coach (2007–2009)[edit]

In 2007, McRae served as assistant coach in the role of Player Development Coach with the Richmond Football Club under senior coach Terry Wallace.[4] Midway through the 2009 AFL season, McRae took up the head coaching position at Richmond's VFL affiliate club Coburg, when their former coach and fellow Richmond AFL assistant Jade Rawlings was appointed caretaker senior coach at Richmond, after Wallace resigned in the middle of the 2009 AFL season after Round 11, 2009.

Brisbane Lions assistant coach (2010)[edit]

In 2010, McRae took up an assistant coaching position in the role of development coach position at the Brisbane Lions, returning to his old playing club under senior coach and former teammate Michael Voss.[5][6]

Collingwood Football Club assistant coach (2011–2016)[edit]

McRae joined Collingwood as an assistant coach in the role as head of development in 2011 under senior coach Mick Malthouse and then under senior coach Nathan Buckley from 2012. He remained at the club for five seasons.[7][8]

Richmond Football Club assistant coach (2017–2020)[edit]

He returned to Richmond at the end of the 2016 season, serving as an assistant coach under senior coach Damien Hardwick and head coach of the club's reserves side in the VFL. He took the side to a losing grand final in 2017, before winning a premiership in 2019 and winning the VFL's coach of the year award and the AFL coaches' association's assistant coach of the year award.[9]

Hawthorn Football Club assistant coach (2021)[edit]

In 2021, McRae joined the Hawthorn Football Club as an assistant coach in the role of forward line coach under senior coach Alastair Clarkson.[10]

Collingwood Football Club senior coach (2022–present)[edit]

In September 2021, McRae returned to the Collingwood Football Club, when he was appointed as senior coach ahead of the 2022 AFL season.[11][12][13] McRae replaced caretaker senior coach Robert Harvey, who replaced Nathan Buckley after Buckley stepped down in the middle of the 2021 season.[14][15][16] In his first season as senior coach, he led Collingwood to success, winning 16 games and finishing the 2022 season in 4th place after finishing 17th the previous season. Out of their wins, 10 were by less than two goals.[17] In the finals series, Collingwood reached the preliminary finals, where they lost to Sydney by one point after trailing by 23 points at the beginning of the last quarter.[18] On Saturday, 30 September 2023, McRae coached Collingwood to a 4 point win against the Brisbane Lions in the 2023 AFL Grand Final, giving the club its 16th premiership and their first since 2010.

Statistics[edit]

Playing statistics[edit]

[19]

Legend
  G  
Goals
  K  
Kicks
  D  
Disposals 
  T  
Tackles
  B  
Behinds 
  H  
Handballs 
  M  
Marks
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game) Votes
G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
1995 Brisbane Bears 4 23 28 22 231 113 344 47 38 1.2 1.0 10.0 4.9 15.0 2.0 1.7 1
1996 Brisbane Bears 4 16 28 19 181 49 230 38 18 1.8 1.2 11.3 3.1 14.4 2.4 1.1 1
1997 Brisbane Lions 4 18 19 16 172 70 242 42 27 1.1 0.9 9.6 3.9 13.4 2.3 1.5 2
1998 Brisbane Lions 4 16 13 15 150 79 229 48 17 0.8 0.9 9.4 4.9 14.3 3.0 1.1 0
1999 Brisbane Lions 4 24 41 32 267 73 340 69 37 1.7 1.3 11.1 3.0 14.2 2.9 1.5 3
2000 Brisbane Lions 4 16 9 11 164 69 233 48 28 0.6 0.7 10.3 4.3 14.6 3.0 1.8 2
2001# Brisbane Lions 4 19 21 20 145 64 209 52 28 1.1 1.1 7.6 3.4 11.0 2.7 1.5 0
2002# Brisbane Lions 4 24 29 27 193 108 301 61 66 1.2 1.1 8.0 4.5 12.5 2.5 2.8 1
2003# Brisbane Lions 4 20 26 17 132 79 211 34 62 1.3 0.9 6.6 4.0 10.6 1.7 3.1 0
2004 Brisbane Lions 4 19 18 17 124 58 182 38 41 0.9 0.9 6.5 3.1 9.6 2.0 2.2 1
Career 195 232 196 1759 762 2521 477 362 1.2 1.0 9.0 3.9 12.9 2.4 1.9 11

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Home and Away Season Finals
Won Lost Drew Win % Finish Won Lost Drew Win % Result
COLL 2022 16 6 0 .727 4th out of 18 1 2 0 .333 Lost to Sydney in Preliminary Final
COLL 2023 18 5 0 .783 1st out of 18 3 0 0 1.000 Defeated Brisbane in Grand Final
[1] 34 11 0 .756 4 2 0 .667

Honours and achievements[edit]

Playing[edit]

Team

Individual

Coaching[edit]

Team

Individual

  • Jock McHale Medal: 2023
  • All-Australian team: 2023
  • AFL Senior Coach of the Year: 2022
  • AFLCA Assistant Coach of the Year: 2019
  • VFL Coach of the Year: 2019
  • AFLCA Development Coach of the Year: 2012

Other work[edit]

Prior to his appointment as Collingwood Football Club senior coach, McRae was a part-time kicking and catching coach with the Melbourne Storm.[20]

Until the end of the 2006 season, McRae was involved in a sports administration business and various football broadcasting roles including radio station Triple M, where he hosted a football programme with former Brisbane teammate Jason Akermanis.

Personal life[edit]

McRae has two daughters from his first marriage.

McRae married his second wife, Gabrielle, in 2022. Their daughter Maggie (his third child) was born the morning of the 2023 AFL Grand Final, and McRae announced her birth during the post-game presentation.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gleeson, Michael (4 September 2021). "'I know the process of winning': McRae challenges Pies stars to drive success". The Age. It's because he's so seldom called Craig. His name is "Fly", from before he was drafted.
  2. ^ a b c d "CRAIG MCRAE". Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Magpies sign up Matthew Lappin and Craig McRae". Herald Sun. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Official AFL Website of the Richmond Football Club". Archived from the original on 4 January 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2006.
  5. ^ "Craig McRae". collingwoodfc.com.au. Collingwood Football Club. Archived from the original on 16 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  6. ^ Allen, Sarah (15 October 2015). "Former Cat joins Magpies". collingwoodfc.com.au. BigPond. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Craig McRae". collingwoodfc.com.au. Collingwood Football Club. Archived from the original on 16 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  8. ^ Allen, Sarah (15 October 2015). "Former Cat joins Magpies". collingwoodfc.com.au. BigPond. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Richmond finalise AFL coaching structure". Richmond FC. Telstra Media. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Craig McRae". hawthornfc.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  11. ^ "McRae appointed senior coach". collingwoodfc.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Collingwood officially names Craig McRae as new AFL head coach". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  13. ^ "McRae a very new Collingwood appointment". 1 September 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  14. ^ "'I'm pretty pumped': McRae determined to build culture and success at Pies". 1 September 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Craig McRae unveiled as new Collingwood coach". 31 August 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Craig McRae confirmed as Collingwood coach as Harvey departs AFL club". TheGuardian.com. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  17. ^ Healey, Catherine (22 August 2022). "'Maybe Jamie has Hips Don't Lie in his head': The Shakira secret to Pies' success". Fox Sports.
  18. ^ Ryan, Peter (17 September 2022). "'We will use it as fuel': McRae's message after devastating Magpies loss". The Age.
  19. ^ Craig McRae's player profile at AFL Tables
  20. ^ Greenberg, Tony (13 September 2018). "Flying Storm". richmondfc.com.au. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  21. ^ Goodwin, Sam (30 September 2023). "Craig McRae drops baby bombshell after Collingwood triumph in AFL grand final". Yahoo Sport Australia. Yahoo. Retrieved 4 October 2023.

External links[edit]