Former St Bedes/Mentone Tigers premiership coach and current Western Bulldogs mentor, Luke Beveridge, has been voted the AFL Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
The first-year AFL coach polled 365 votes to finish 60 clear of West Coast’s Adam Simpson (305) in second place and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon (116).
“It’s a huge honour and mainly because it is voted by your peers,” Beveridge said.
“What all our coaches and staff have done for our club this year has been great and it allows us to start 2016 on a better platform.”
Arriving at the Bulldogs amid a club crisis prior to the 2015 season, Beveridge was able to put the loss of captain Ryan Griffen, Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney, Shaun Higgins and an injured Tom Liberatore behind him to lead the Dogs to 14 wins and their first finals appearance since 2010.
Unfortunately, the awe-inspiring run of success was short-lived in the AFL finals series as the Bulldogs went down to the Adelaide Crows by seven points in one of the most entertaining elimination finals in recent memory.
Prior to his AFL coaching career, Beveridge famously coached St Bedes/Mentone Tigers to three consecutive premierships in 2006 (C Section), 2007 (B Section) and 2008 (A Section).
The success of his coaching tenure with the Tigers saw Beveridge join Collingwood where he was part of the 2010 premiership before moving to Hawthorn as defensive coach of their back-to-back premiership sides in 2012-13.