John Harbin

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John Harbin
Personal information
Full name John Harbin
Born (1947-04-12) 12 April 1947 (age 68)
Hazlewood Castle, Yorkshire, England
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2000–2001 Wakefield
2002–2002 Oldham Roughyeds
2010 Yeppoon Seagulls
Total 0 0 0 0
As of 8 July 2010
John Harbin
Personal information
Date of birth (1947-04-12) 12 April 1947 (age 68)
Place of birth Hazlewood Castle, Yorkshire, England
Teams managed
Years Team
2008 Coventry City (caretaker)

John Harbin is an Australian sports coach. He first worked in rugby league before beginning a coaching career in association football. His son, Lionel Harbin, briefly played rugby league in the Super League for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1947 at Hazlewood Castle in the English county of Yorkshire, Harbin grew up in Swillington Common, before emigrating with his parents to Australia at the age of ten, settling in Queensland. As a child he played rugby league and was a boxer.[1][2]

After leaving school he completed a teaching degree.[3]

Rugby league[edit]

Harbin returned to England to coach in rugby league in the late 1990s. He was the coach of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats between November 2000[4] and November 2001, and was regarded by some fans as a good coach even after a 12-game losing streak. Wakefield's final game of the 2001 season was a relegation battle with Salford City Reds and Wakefield won condemning Huddersfield Giants to the drop.[5] However he left the club at the end of 2001.[6]

After a brief spell as Chief Executive Officer[7] at Dewsbury Rams, Harbin joined Oldham Roughyeds as head coach in January 2002.[8]

Association football[edit]

Late in 2002 Harbin joined Oldham Athletic Association Football Club as a fitness coach and worked with then-assistant manager Iain Dowie. Dowie was later promoted to manager and moved to Crystal Palace with Harbin following.[9] The pair, along with Dowie's brother Bob, guided Crystal Palace to a surprise promotion to the Premier League having been near the relegation zone when appointed. Success was short lived, however, as Crystal Palace were relegated the following season and then failed to gain another promotion.

Dowie moved to Charlton Athletic in 2006, and again linked up with Harbin. After Dowie's sacking in November 2006, Harbin stayed briefly under new manager Les Reed but departed by the end of 2006. In February 2007 he linked up with Dowie for the fourth time, at Coventry City. A year later he was placed in a joint caretaker's role alongside first-team coach Frankie Bunn after the sacking of Dowie. Harbin again followed Iain Dowie to Queens Park Rangers and remained following Dowie's departure in October 2008. Harbin stayed at Q.P.R under new manager Paulo Sousa until Sousa left the club in the summer of 2009. Harbin would later follow Sousa to Swanseain July 2009.[10]

After seven years in English Football and only three months at Swansea, Harbin decided to return to Australia to take up a senior coaching role at Yeppoon Rugby League club.[11]

Return to Australia[edit]

In 2009 Harbin returned to Australia where he coaches Yeppoon Seagulls in the Queensland Rugby League Central Division.[12][13]

Harbin was the manager of the Dreamtime Lodge in Rockhampton.[13]

On 26 June 2013 John was appointed Performance Manager at English Football League Two club Plymouth Argyle [14]

On June 15, 2015 John left his position as Performance Manager at English Football League Two club Plymouth Argyle due to a back room staff restructuring. [15]

On June 30, 2015, Harbin was appointed as Performance Coach at Football League One club Port Vale [16]


  1. ^ "Rams’ knight in shining armour". Lakeland Echo (Johnston Press). 13 December 2001. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Turner, Andy. "Football: Group hug! How Uncle John fits into Dowie's plan.". Coventry Evening Telegraph (Coventry Newspapers). Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Jackson, Peter (New Year 2006). "Putting the person before the performance." (PDF). The Bulletin of the Association for Coaching (Association for Coaching) (7): 8–10. Retrieved 8 July 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Super League Team-by-team guide". (UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited). 1 March 2001. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Laybourn, Ian (17 September 2001). "Victory fails to rescue Huddersfield". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Wakefield coach resigns". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 22 October 2001. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Heptinstall, Stephen (16 November 2001). "Rams raid twist gives Harbin top job". Wakefield Express (Johnston Press). Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Hadfield, Dave (31 January 2002). "Harbin on way back as coach". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Dowie's future at QPR unclear following bust-up with Briatore". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). 6 August 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "Fitness Coach Harbin Leaves QPR". ( 2 July 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ex-QPR's John Harbin Returns Home to Australia". ( 21 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  12. ^ Kennedy, Alan (20 April 2010). "Yeppoon coach will not rest". Rockhampton Morning Bulletin (APN News & Media). Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Kennedy, Alan (22 October 2009). "Harbin home after UK football work". Rockhampton Morning Bulletin (APN News & Media). Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Back Room Staff Announced". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Staff Departures". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "John Harbin Appointed As Performance Coach". Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Kemp
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats head coach
Succeeded by
Peter Roe