The Melbourne Storm have been a dominant force in the NRL since their inception, especially since Craig Bellamy took over at the start of the 2003 NRL season. But he’s not the only coach running around that’s a graduate of the Melbourne school of coaching.
Bellamy took over the Storm in 2003, leading Melbourne the Finals in every year bar 2010, where they were stripped of all their points that season for cheating the salary cap. ‘Bellyache’ has coached Melbourne for a stunning 392 NRL games, winning 265 of them for a stunning win/loss percentage of 68%.
Apart from Bellamy, a stunning six other coaches in the competition have spent time in the Storm’s ranks in their rise to becoming a head coach in the NRL.
Incumbent Parramatta coach Brad Arthur began his career as a Development Coach for the Storm in 2007. The following year, Arthur was promoted to head coach of the Melbourne Storm’s Under 20’s team. In 2009, Arthur led the 20’s team to their maiden premiership, before becoming an assistant coach to Craig Bellamy for the 2010 season.
Seven years later, Brad Arthur took his Parramatta squad to their first finals series in eight years, and only narrowly lost out to Craig Bellamy for the Dally M Coach of the Year.
Dean Pay has just been appointed the head coach of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, but back in 2010, he was Arthur’s successor as head coach of the Storm’s Under 20’s team, before leaving the role as coach of the inaugural Under 20’s NSW Blues side.
Another recently appointed head coach comes in the form of South Sydney’s Anthony Seibold, who spent three years as Craig Bellamy’s assistant coach between 2013 and 2015. Since then, Seibold has spent time as an assistant coach at both Manly and the Rabbitohs, while also being involved with the Junior Kangaroos and the Queensland Maroons as an assistant. And whose job did Seibold take over? Former Melbourne assistant Michael Maguire’s.
Stephen Kearney, a former Melbourne Storm player, spent two years as an assistant coach in Victoria for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, while Newcastle coach and former Dragon Nathan Brown spent his 2015 season as a coaching consultant down south under Bellamy’s tutelage.
Even Penrith coach Anthony Griffin spent two years on Melbourne’s coaching staff, though it was as an assistant in the two years prior to Bellamy’s arrival. Regardless, Griffin is one of six current coaches other than Bellamy to spend time in the Melbournian system.
Current assistants Jason Ryles and Adam O’Brien have already been tipped as future coaches of the NRL, and with Melbourne showing off their strong coaching culture, you’d be brave to tip against them.