5 Australian Coaches Who Made Their Mark Overseas

Australia has been responsible for producing some truly top-class coaches, many of whom have made a significant sporting impact overseas.

That point is particularly pertinent in nations that have looked to match Australia’s achievements in sports such as cycling, swimming and cricket.

However, Australian coaches from numerous other sports have also made a significant impact overseas. Here are some of the most noteworthy examples.

Paul Manera – American Football

Paul Manera was awarded a full scholarship to play American Football at the University of Hawaii in 1989 and was selected as an Academic All Western Athletic Conference Player in his senior year.

He subsequently embarked on a coaching career at the university, before returning home to use his expertise to build the profile of the sport in Australia.

Manera set up the Coaching Accreditation Program for Gridiron Coaches in Australia and was also head coach of the NSW Wolfpack State Team.

He guided them to the championship in 2003, 2005, 2006, and continues to work extensively with budding gridiron players in Australia.

Sandy Brondello – Basketball

Sandy Brondello played basketball in Australia, Germany and the WNBA before embarking on a coaching career with the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2005.

Brondello joined Los Angeles Sparks in 2011 before being appointed by Phoenix Mercury as head coach in 2013. She guided them to a 29-5 record to win the Coach of the Year Award.

The Mercury won the 2014 WNBA Finals by sweeping the Chicago Sky. Success proved hard to come by in subsequent years, with Mercury consistently falling short in the play-offs.

After losing in the WNBA Finals in 2021 Brondello left Mercury for New York Liberty. She guided them to the WNBA Finals in 2023 but was unable to prevent Las Vegas Aces from retaining the title.

Ange Postecoglou – Soccer

After establishing himself as a successful coach in Australia and Japan, Ange Postecoglou was appointed as Celtic manager in 2021 and quickly demonstrated his talents.

The Hoops became the scourge of online bookmakers, winning 83 of the 113 games Postecoglou was in charge. They won five trophies during that period.

He has continued to make a nuisance of himself with soccer betting sites, sparking a huge transformation in Tottenham Hotspur’s fortunes since joining the club this summer.

His team are unbeaten after nine Premier League games – form which has seen their odds to win the title slashed by all the top sportsbooks in Australia and overseas.

Adam Caporn – Basketball

A knee injury prevented Adam Caporn from making much impact as a basketball player, but it has been a different story on the coaching front.

He had a spell as an assistant coach at Saint Mary’s in California, before working for Basketball Australia at their Centre of Excellence.

Caporn was named as the head coach of the Long Island Nets of the NBA G League in 2021, the development team for the Brooklyn Nets.

He was appointed as assistant coach for the Nets in 2022 and retained his role this summer despite the club undertaking a shake-up of their coaching staff.

Eddie Jones – Rugby Union

Eddie Jones is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most famous coaches to have made his mark overseas, although it has not always been for the right reasons.

He guided Australia to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and was an advisor with South Africa when the Springboks won the tournament four years later.

Jones coached Japan from 2012 to 2015, before being appointed England head coach. He led them to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final before being axed in 2022.

He was subsequently reappointed by Australia, but his time in charge has been blighted by several controversial incidents.