Jeff Gieschen

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Jeff Gieschen
Personal information
Date of birth (1956-09-22) 22 September 1956 (age 60)
Original team(s) Maffra
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1974–1978 Footscray 24 (1)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1992–1994 West Perth 69 (35–34–0)
1997–1999 Richmond 49 (25–24–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1978.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Jeff Gieschen (born 22 September 1956) is the former National Umpire Manager of the Australian Football League (AFL) and a former Australian rules football player and coach who played in the Victorian Football League (VFL) between 1974 and 1978 for the Footscray Football Club. He was the senior coach of AFL club Richmond from late 1997 until the end of the 1999 season.

Playing career[edit]

In 1971 Gieschen captained the State Championship winning La Trobe Valley Schoolboys team and was also named the Victorian Captain and All Australian vice captain in the U16's. He played 150 games in the Latrobe Valley Football League (LVFL) with the Maffra Football club during which time he collected three player of the year awards, two league best and fairest awards and seven Club Best and Fairest awards (including one as a 15-year-old in 1972). He represented the LVFL in inter-league games 15 times between 1973 and 1984 and was captain of the LVFL side in 1981. He was selected in the Victorian Country side to play the ACT in 1980. In the Ovens and Murray League he won Wodonga's Best and Fairest award in 1986,[1] his only year as a player at that club.

Coaching career[edit]

Gieschen coached the Maffra Football Club in 1979, 1980 and 1982 (and was inducted into the Maffra F.C.'s inaugural Hall of Fame in 2008).

He coached Wodonga from 1986 to 1991 for two premierships and was awarded Regional Coach of the Year in 1990. During his six years at Wodonga the club won five Ovens and Murray League club championships based on the combined results of the Senior, Reserve and Third grade teams. (He was also named as Wodonga's "coach of the century" in 2004).

He coached West Perth from 1992 to 1994 which included a grand final loss to Claremont in 1993, during which season he was awarded the JJ Leonard Medal for West Australian Coach of the Year Award. (West Perth also named him as coach of their "All Star Team of the Century" in 2008). In 1995 and 1996 he was assistant coach for the Geelong Football club which included a grand final appearance in the former season. In 1997 he became coach of the reserves team at Richmond and took that side from the wooden spoon (the year before) to Premiership winners. After a string of disappointing results by the Richmond senior team under the previous coach, Gieschen was appointed senior coach from late in the 1997 season. He held the position until the end of 1999. Gieschen’s winning percentage as a senior AFL coach finished at 52 percent.

AFL Umpires' Manager[edit]

Gieschen served as the Umpires' National Umpire Manager Australian Football League for 14 years, until his resignation which took effect on 28 November 2013.[2] Gieschen (with the now former Head of Coaching for umpires, Rowan Sawers) has been acknowledged by the AFL (memorandum from Mark Evans, AFL Football Operations Manager, 30th October, 2013) as "...the longest serving umpire coach/manager combination in the history of the AFL. They have overseen a period of great improvement in the professionalism and advancement of umpiring programs and the outstanding performance of umpires and officials in Finals and Grand Finals."

In his 14 years of managing the AFL's umpires Gieschen implemented a range of reforms which have included: stricter enforcement of the AFL's "abuse to umpires" policy; abolition of the white uniform as part of a conscious effort to eradicate the "white maggot" label previously applied to umpires; objective performance management criteria to ensure accurate ranking and appointment of umpires; introduced a DVD overviewing umpiring/laws of the game for umpires, clubs, media and fans; successfully recommended the implementation of taller goalposts to improve scoring accuracy; oversaw the introduction of the "score review system"; four boundary umpires to enable boundary umpires to keep up with the game; standardised fitness testing for umpires; player to umpire career pathway to encourage former players to take up umpiring roles; and the appointment of Chelsea Roffey, the first female umpire appointed to a final, including a grand final.[3][4][5]

Following his departure from the AFL, Gieschen plans to launch a sport consultancy business.[2]


  1. ^ "About Us: Club History". 
  2. ^ a b Timms, Daryl (28 November 2013). "Departing umpires boss Jeff Gieschen proud of increasing respect to umps". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Horowitz, Ralph (7 May 2009). "Why it's time for AFL umpire boss Jeff Gieschen to go". Crikey. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Sheahan, Mike (29 April 2010). "Please explain umpiring, Jeff Gieschen". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Sheahan, Mike (4 May 2010). "Umpires boss Jeff Gieschen has got it wrong". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 

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