Collingwood have appointed Rob Wright as head coach of the Magpies Netball program for the next two seasons as part of a sweeping new philosophy at the Melbourne club.
Hailed as one of the game’s most strategic minds, Wright joined Collingwood’s coaching panel in 2018. Before joining the Magpies, Wright assisted the Australian Fast5 team in the 2017 World Series.
Wright joined the New South Wales Swifts as assistant coach in 2010 and was promoted to the head role for the 2014 season.
During his three years and 61 matches as head coach, he led the Swifts to back-to-back grand final appearances in 2015 and 2016 against the Queensland Firebirds.
He succeeds Kristy Keppich-Birrell as head coach of the Magpies.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year at Collingwood and I am excited by the opportunity to continue what has been created in the formative years of Magpies Netball,” Wright said.
“We have much to build on and work with; quality talent, amazing and committed staff and excellent facilities. With the backing of the club and our supporters, we have all of the ingredients for success.
“After playing a support role to Kristy this season, I feel re-energised and privileged to have been given this opportunity.
“Heading up the program and being able to continue to pursue my passion in developing players through the nitty gritty of coaching is something I’m tremendously thankful for.”
Collingwood Chief Executive Mark Anderson said Wright had impressed all with his professionalism and expertise.
“Rob is recognised within Collingwood and the broader netball community as an outstanding coach. He is someone who is deeply respected for his technical and tactical expertise,” Anderson said.
“It was clear through our recent netball program review that Rob has the attributes and skills to lead this next stage of the evolution of our netball team.
"Our high performance staff and players have great respect for what he will bring to the team as head coach and are excited by what is possible.”
Wright’s appointment is part of a process to strengthen Collingwood’s female sports programs including creating a new and unique role in Australian sport for someone who will sit across all of the club’s female teams.
The General Manager, Women’s Sport will lead all four Collingwood female teams in AFLW, VFLW, Magpies Netball and its Australian National League feeder team.
Anderson added: “Collingwood have a strong commitment to women’s sport. We have added four women’s teams within our program over the last two years.
"The creation of this new role demonstrates that we are committed to embedding our women’s programs and creating a world class high performance program for our elite women’s teams.
“It is an incredible opportunity for a high performance professional who has experience in leading women’s elite programs and athletes.”