HAWTHORN’S dual premiership coach Alastair Clarkson may not realise it but he is one of just four current and former AFL coaches with Ballarat ties.
Clarkson was a boarder at the then Ballarat and Clarendon College in the early 1980s, while the Hawks’ head of fitness, Andrew Russell, attended the same school.
Clarkson entered BCC halfway through his secondary education after completing his early school years in his hometown, Kaniva.
The nuggetty teenager made an immediate impact, being selected in the boys’ firsts football team in just year 10 before going on to be drafted by North Melbourne.
On its Facebook page, Ballarat Clarendon College posted: “Congratulations to Old Collegians Alastair Clarkson and Andrew Russell on the AFL premiership win with the Hawthorn Football Club yesterday!”
After finishing his playing career at Melbourne, Clarkson went on to coach Central Districts to a premiership in the SANFL, followed by a stint as an assistant coach at Port Adelaide during its premiership year.
He was appointed Hawthorn coach in 2005, winning premierships in 2008 and this year.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse was born in Ballarat and attended St Paul's Technical College.
He went on to coach West Coast Eagles to two flags in 1992 and 1994 and Collingwood to its last victory in 2010.
Malthouse has coached the most AFL games since its inception in 1990 and has coached the second highest number of VFL/AFL games behind Jock McHale in his 29-year career.
John “Swooper” Northey was recruited from Derrinallum and coached Sydney, the Brisbane Bears, Melbourne, Richmond and finally the Brisbane Lions after his playing career ended.
He took Melbourne to a VFL grand final in 1988 and holds the unenviable title of the most games coached without a premiership.
Northey is coaching Learmonth in the Central Highlands Football League after several years at the helm of Ballarat.
Bungaree export and St Kilda full-back Danny Frawley coached Richmond and, until this year when Damien Hardwick took his team to an elimination final, was the last coach to take the Tigers into a finals series.