After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (2024)

He arrived with dyed, greyinghair and left with it close to white: there went Adam Simpson, into the great scrap yard forAFL coaches.

It's the same place all of them end up after their time in the madhouse ends, whether they're pushed or go willingly.

Some of them, the onesstill in half-decent nick, might get picked up again to see if they run any better second time around.

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As always with second-hand vehicles, the results vary.

After nearly 11 years on the job, when it came down to it,Simpson's recent record – eightwins in his last three seasons as West Coast Eagles coach – was not survivable. He was nolonger roadworthy.

It wasn't all his fault.

After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (1)

After an unlikely flag in 2018, the clubthought their premiership window was wide open, and they went all in on Tim Kelly.

Unbeknownst to many,especially to Tim, the list was poised on a cliff's edge, and somewhere in the back half of 2021 they went tumbling off it.

Simpson was left to try and win games – the metric by which he's judged – with a squad of men either not fit enough or good enough to help him keep his job.

The arrival of Harley Reid, a reasonable run with injury and three wins this year whet the appetite of Eagles fans, and perhaps over inflated their sense of what was achievable this year.

But against North Melbourne, they were lamentable for three quarters. Against Hawthorn they were simply lamentable.

In the end the levee broke.

Not a ranter or a raver

Simpson was a North Melbourne legend who was coached by Denis Pagan as the Kangaroos enjoyed a dominant era in the late 1990s.

He had a ringside seat to how a football club can come apart, when Wayne Carey was sensationally sacked after a relationship with the wife of his teammate, Anthony Stevens.

Simpson headed west after serving a four-yearapprenticeship under that most alpha of AFL coaches, Alastair Clarkson.

After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (2)

According to former Eagles skipper Ross Glendinning, on the day after he was appointed he addressed Eagles staff and said: "I'm not going to rant and rave about a whole lot of footy philosophies, I'll just tell you what I am:I'm a communicator and an educator."

He and his assistants reinvented the Eagles defence in 2015 after season-ending injuries to key backmen Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown, contributing to theside makingthe grand final.


And three years later, he helped the club lift its most unlikely premiership of all – smack bang in the middle of a Richmond dynasty.

Speaking on the ABC AFL Daily podcast after hearing the news of Simpson's departure, Sydney premiership coach Paul Roos said his legacy was secure.

"He is a premiership coach for the West Coast Eagles – he will always be welcomed back to that football club as a premiership coach," Roos said.

Art vs science

Perhaps the thing that impressed mostabout Simpson was his thoughtfulness.

Two years into his tenure,at a lecture at a Perth university, he reflected on his longevity in the game.

After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (3)

"I think there's still so much of a balance between art and science, and when I say art I mean how you treat people, your empathy," he said.

"If I had to talk to you guys every day, how would you be in four years?

"My next challenge is 'what do I do to keep these guys engaged'?"

Every Monday last season, there he'd be on the Eagles website, fronting the 'Ask Simmo' segment, where he'd be thrown some easy ones by his former defender Will Schofield.

Without fail he'd manage to find a little cheer after another spirit-sapping defeat.

After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (4)

The past two years have been surreal for Eagles fans.

The local paper put Simpson'sface on a Mr Grumpy cartoon. On another day he had a Burger King crown on his head.

There seemed aninexhaustible well of ex-Eagles players calling for him to be sacked, none too obscure.

You always got the feeling Simpson, in the cutthroat world of AFL coaching, was a sensitive soul.

At post-match press conferences after one of his players had been injured – from superstars like Nic Naitanui, to a mid-season pick like Jai Culley – you could almost feel the hurt.

Once my partner looked at my phone as I watched one of these press conferences and declared that Simmo looked like he "needs to cry".

After the last couple of seasons, who could blame him?

Posted, updated

After 11 years, Eagles coach Adam Simpson leaves lasting legacy in AFL madhouse (2024)


Why did Adam Simpson leave Eagles? ›

West Coast Eagles senior coach Adam Simpson will leave the AFL club after weeks of pressure on his leadership amid the side's poor on-field performance. On Tuesday the Eagles released a statement saying Simpson and the club had mutually agreed his 11-year tenure at the helm would come to an end.

How long has Adam Simpson coached the Eagles? ›

Simpson departs the Eagles after 242 AFL games as coach — including 12 finals — across 11 seasons since 2014.

Who is the new coach of West Coast Eagles? ›

How Eagles' new coach learned the hard way. INTERIM West Coast coach Jarrad Schofield will bring a hard edge to the role combined with an ability to connect with players, according to those who have played under him in a diverse coaching career that stretches well beyond his time in the AFL.

How many coaches have the West Coast Eagles had? ›

Simpson, one of only six senior coaches in the 37-year history of the club and one of only three to lead the club to premiership glory, achieved the ultimate success in 2018 to join Michael Malthouse (1992, 1994) and John Worsfold (2006) in bringing the cup to WA.

Why did Philadelphia choose the Eagles? ›

Drawing inspiration from the insignia of the centerpiece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, specifically the National Recovery Act's "Blue Eagle", Bell and Wray named the new franchise the Philadelphia Eagles, with Bell as president and general manager and Wray as head coach.

Why did Bernie Leadon leave Eagles? ›

He famously quit the band in 1975 by pouring a beer over Glenn Frey's head. He later cited a need to get healthy and break the vicious cycle of touring, recording and heavy drug use that was rampant within the band.

How many AFL games did Adam Simpson play? ›

Adam Simpson (born 16 February 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach. A left-footed midfielder, his playing career for North Melbourne spanned from 1995 to 2009, where he played 306 games.

Who coached the Philadelphia Eagles last year? ›

He was replaced by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for Week 17. Doug Pederson served five seasons with the Eagles as their head coach before being fired on January 11, 2021, after leading the team to a 4–11–1 record in his final year as head coach. Nick Sirianni has been head coach since January 24, 2021.

Is Adam Simpson retiring? ›

Simpson decides not to coach in farewell game

West Coast premiership coach Adam Simpson has decided not to coach the Eagles for one more match on Sunday after the club and coach mutually agreed on Tuesday to end his time at the helm.

Who is the Eagles coaches son? ›

Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at the club's training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He was 29.

Who is the Philadelphia Eagles WR coach? ›

A former NFL receiver and Super Bowl Champion as a player, Aaron Moorehead returns for his fifth season with the Eagles. In 2023, A.J. Brown (1,456) and DeVonta Smith (1,066) each posted 1,000-plus yards for the second straight season after becoming the first Eagles duo to accomplish the feat in 2022.

Who is the Eagles D line coach? ›

Biography. Clint Hurtt was named the defensive line coach of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2024 offseason following a seven-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks (2017-23), including two seasons as defensive coordinator.

Has Adam Simpson left the Eagles? ›

The West Coast Eagles have officially parted ways with long-time senior coach Adam Simpson. It puts an end to his 11-year tenure as coach, having led the club to two grand finals — including the 2018 premiership — with West Coast on a gradual decline since including a horror run in recent years — going 8-53 since 2022.

Have the Eagles ever had a black coach? ›

On February 2, 1995, five days after the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIX, Ray Rhodes was named head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the fourth African-American head coach in NFL history behind Fritz Pollard, Art Shell and Dennis Green.

How old is Adam Simpson's West Coast coach? ›

ADAM Simpson has coached his final game at West Coast, with the 48-year-old turning down the offer of a farewell game against Brisbane on Sunday.

How long did Reid coach the Eagles? ›

Long before Reid created this era of dominance with the Kansas City Chiefs, Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons.

How long was Tom Landry head coach? ›

Tom Landry was the legendary professional football coach who served as the Dallas Cowboys' coach for 29 years. During his tenure, the Dallas Cowboys won 13 division titles and represented the NFC five times in the Super Bowl, Super Bowls V, VI, X, XII, and XIII.

How long has Boston Scott been with the Eagles? ›

By Reuben Frank • Published April 30, 2024 • Updated on April 30, 2024 at 8:33 pm. NBC Universal, Inc. A.J. Brown spoke to the media following his contract extension he signed right before the 2024 NFL Draft. Giant killer Boston Scott's six-year stay with the Eagles is officially over.

How long has Elliott been with the Eagles? ›

Jake Elliott
No. 4 – Philadelphia Eagles
College:Memphis (2013–2016)
NFL draft:2017 / Round: 5 / Pick: 153
Career history
Cincinnati Bengals (2017)* Philadelphia Eagles (2017–present)
19 more rows


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