Inaugural Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has revealed he is not certain to retire from the head coaching game at the end of the 2024 season.
Bennett has taken the 2022 season off to set up the Dolphins ahead of their entry into the NRL during 2023 as the competition's 17th franchise.
Leaving the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the 2021 season, 2023 will mark the second time in his career that Bennett has taken charge of an expansion team after doing the same when the Brisbane Broncos first entered the competition.
Bennett is on a deal to head coach for two years in Redcliffe, before Kristian Woolf, who has just coached St Helens to three straight English Super League championships, will take over the helm in his first NRL head coaching role.
It has been widely believed that Bennett would then move into a head of football or director role at the club - something that another super coach in Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm is likely to do in the coming years - however, speaking to News Corp, Bennett said that isn't a certainty, and he could jump to yet another club.
“Don't mention retirement with me,” Bennett told the publication.
“If you mention retirement with me, you will do it at your peril.
“I'm not talking about retirement. I'm talking about doing two years and who knows what happens after that.
“I went to South Sydney on a three-year deal and I did my three years.
“But I kept coaching, I'm now at the Dolphins, so don't start talking about retirement, because it can bite you on the ass.
“If Kristian was a younger coach, I would have done three or four years actually, but he is coming for the right reasons and I don't want to hold Kristian back. He deserves his chance.
“Anything could happen. I really don't know what my next role will be. I'm not at the retirement stage. I don't know how I will feel in two years. But I will get these two years done and let's see what happens after that."
The now 72-year-old has coached nearly 900 games at the top level, not including his time in the Brisbane Rugby League competition between 1976 and 1984.
He has coached at the Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons, Newcastle Knights and South Sydney Rabbitohs leading into his time with the Dolphins, but the experienced coach has admitted that it won't be a straightforward process making the new club competitive.
“It will take a couple of seasons to get ourselves right,” Bennett said.
“I went through this at the Broncos. It took us five years to win our first premiership.
“There was no timeframe then and there's no timeframe now.”