WESTERN Bulldogs legend Doug Hawkins will coach Bacchus Marsh in the Ballarat Football League next year.
Club president Pat Mullen confirmed yesterday that the Cobras had secured Hawkins for the top job.
He fills the vacancy left by Dave Callendar, who resigned late in the home and away season after three years with Bacchus Marsh.
While new to the senior job, Hawkins, who is a long-time Bacchus Marsh resident, is a premiership coach at the club.
He led the Cobras' under-16.5s in BFL flag in an emotion-packed 2011 campaign.
Bacchus Marsh won the junior premiership just weeks after leading player Nathan Prince died after collapsing with a cardiac arrest in a home and away match.
The BFL under-16.5 football best-on-ground medal is now named in Prince's honour.
Mullen said while Bacchus Marsh had advertised the coaching vacancy, the selection panel had targeted Hawkins as a top priority for the job.
Mullen said Hawkins had a lot to offer the club - on and off the ground with his football knowledge, and his profile in the general and football communities.
He said having coached successfully within the club at junior level only a few seasons ago meant he also had knowledge and rapport with its emerging talent.
Mullen said Hawkins would now put together his support team.
Hawkins, 52, played 350 VFL/AFL games 329 with Footscray (1978-1994) and 21 with Fitzroy (R1995).
He captained Footscray in 1990-93 and won the club's best and fairest in 1985.
Hawkins was selected in the Bulldogs team of the century and is also a member of the AFL hall of fame.
He broke Ted Whitten's then longstanding clubs games record of 321 in 1994.
Hawkins joins former Footscray teammate Rod MacPherson in BFL senior coaching ranks. MacPherson led the Cobras' neighbour and arch-rival Darley this year.