Kevin Sheedy is one of the Australian Football League's most successful and enduring figures. A player and coach over five decades, Kevin has an unsurpassed record of involvement in over1000 games and eight premierships.
That involvement was well and truly re-ignited in 2012 when Kevin became the inaugural coach of the newest AFL club - Greater Western Sydney, taking his young team to two unexpected victories and helping spread the message of Australian football to a whole new audience.
After two years as senior coach, Kevin stood down to take up the position of Director with Greater Western Sydney, maintaining an involvement in the game that stretches back for decades.
Kevin Sheedy began his career at Prahran Football Club in the Victorian Football Association in 1964. After playing in a premiership with that club, he transferred to Richmond in the Victorian Football League in 1967 and played 251 games before retiring in 1979. Kevin played in three winning grand final sides for the Tigers - 1969, 1973 and 1974.
He was the Skills Coach at Richmond when the club won the 1980 Premiership.
In 1981 he was appointed Senior Coach at the Essendon Football Club, where he coached for a record 635 games during 27 years of continuous coaching.
In that time the club competed in 19 finals series.
Kevin's success ratio as a coach is 61.0% - 386 wins, 242 losses and 7 draws. In finals, he won 23 games and lost 20.
During his time at Essendon, the club competed in seven Grand Finals, winning flags in 1984, 1985, 1993 and 2000. The club also won six of eight "Night" grand finals in which it competed. Overall, Kevin has coached in 69 pre-season competition games.
Sheeds was "All Australian" coach in 1984, 1985, 1993 and 2000 and State of Origin coach in 1984 and 1985.
He was also the successful Coach of the International Rules Team in 2005 and 2006, winning three of the four Tests played during his tenure. In round 15 of 2007, Kevin broke the VFL/AFL's combined playing/coaching record with 251 games played and 628 coached - 879 games.
As well as on-field success, Kevin also helped develop Essendon off the field. In 1980, membership was 15,000, in 2008, Kevin was given the honour of being the club's 40,000th member in recognition of his efforts in making the Bombers a national "brand".
Kevin also received a number of other accolades during 2008. He was inducted into the Australian Football League's Hall of Fame, made a Legend of the Essendon Football Club and nominated as The Australian Thinker of the Year.
He was appointed to be an Ambassador for the AFL during the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Australian football.
Kevin is a Life Member of the Richmond Football Club, Essendon Football Club and the Australian Football League. He received the Advance Australia Award in 1993 and in 1998 was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to sport and the community.
He was named the Australia Sports Commission Coach of the Year for 2000 [Domestic]. Also in 2000, he was awarded an Australian Sports Medal in recognition of his service to Australian Football.
Other awards include:
In 2014, he was the guest speaker for Deakin University's prestigious David Parkin Oration for Sport and Social Change. The event sold out in less than two days.
In March 2015, Kevin became the first life member of Greater Western Sydney in honour of his contribution to the fledgling club, first as coach, then as a Director.
Among his achievements with the Giants were helping the young side to its first-ever win in the AFL and bringing to the club the largest ever match-day sponsorship in AFL history.
In March 2015, Kevin returned to the club he had supported as a boy, and coached for 27 years – Essendon.
Kevin was appointed as General Manager, Commercial Development and Innovation.
Kevin Sheedy is the co-author of eleven books:
“It was a privilege to engage the services of Kevin Sheedy at the Level Crossing Removal Project – Burke North McKinnon Centre and deliver a powerful message to the construction team at a time when the project is facing it’s biggest challenge. Kevin was able to take our minds away from the pressure of work for a short period and share his experiences on life, and on how to get across the line with a lateral approach”.
- Marco Rocci - Alliance Safety Manager – Level Crossing Removal Project
“We were thrilled to have Kevin Sheedy at our event, a great name and legend of the game who was a great drawcard for our fundraiser.
Our night was so successful that there are already plans underway for next year!
- Brett Edgington – Secretary - Ballarat Regional Trades & Labour Council