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Coaches presented by Morris Finance

Throughout history the Geelong Cats have been coached by some of the biggest names in VFL/AFL history. Names such as Hickey, Davis, Hafey, Blight and Thompson have all enabled their players to play some of the most entertaining football seen.  

Chris Scott

Playing Career
Brisbane: 215 games, 79 goals

Coaching Career
Geelong : Senior coach 2011-
Fremantle: Asst Coach 2008-2010

Chris Scott has established himself among the elite coaches of the AFL. He has guided the Cats to a 97-33 record (74.43%) over his first six seasons at the helm, while overseeing the transition of the team to incorporate an array of young players.

Scott secured his spot in Geelong history by guiding the Cats to the premiership in his first season as coach. Scott took over a team that most experts felt was past its best.

Scott led Geelong to 13 wins to start the season, establishing a league record for most consecutive wins by a first year coach at the start of his career.

Geelong finished the home & away season with a 19-3 record, then posted emphatic wins over Hawthorn, West Coast and Collingwood to capture the premiership.

Scott was able to blend both the experienced and younger players into a potent line up. He was also honoured as All Australian coach after becoming just the 13th first year coach to lead his club to the flag.

The Cats followed up in 2012 with 15 wins while introducing 10 debutants, as the club looked to blend future and current success.

The 2013 season saw the Cats finish second after the home & away season with an 18-4 record, before falling by five points in the preliminary final.

In 2014 Geelong was again at the fore front of the competition. The Cats finished third at the end of the home-and-away season with a 17-5 mark before falling at the semi final stage. 

Scott was appointed as Geelong’s senior coach on 15 October 2010 after three seasons as an assistant coach at Fremantle. He helped the Dockers emerge from a lean history to be one of the hottest young teams on the rise in the AFL.

Scott marked himself as one of Brisbane’s greats during the golden era of the Lions, playing 215 games with the pioneering Lions.

Scott was a member of two premiership teams, 2001 and 2002, and he was denied a third flag by injury in 2003. He also played in the Lions 2004 grand final.

He claimed the Lions best & fairest in 1998 and was the AFL's rising star in 1994, his first season at the top level.

Scott established himself immediately in 1994, playing 19 games. He was an automatic selection for the Lions during their nine finals campaigns in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Scott retired following the 2007 season, his last game coming against the Cats at the Gabba.

Scott kicked 79 goals in his 215 game career.


Shane O'Bree

Playing career
Collingwood: 227 games, 84 goals
Brisbane: 19 games, 3 goals

Coaching career
Geelong: VFL Coach 2016 -

Previously development coach in 2015 and assistant coach 2013-2014.

Gold Coast: Asst coach 2011-2012


Shane O’Bree was added to the Cats' coaching staff in October 2012. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the AFL’s 17th club, Gold Coast, in their first two seasons in the competition.

O’Bree worked with the Cats midfield group over his first two seasons before moving into a development coaching role in 2015, working mainly with the Cats young midfielders.

In 2016, O'Bree was appointed senior coach of the Cats' VFL program and guided the side to finals in his first season at the helm.


O’Bree enjoyed a successful career with Brisbane and Collingwood, playing 246 games over 13 seasons.

O’Bree began his career with the Brisbane Lions, playing 19 games in two seasons. He helped the Lions to the 1999 preliminary final. He then made the move to Collinwgood, where he went on to play 227 games and kick 84 goals.

A key member of the Magpies 2002 -2003 grand final teams, O’Bree retired after Collingwood’s premiership season in 2010 and moved directly into coaching.

A skilled midfielder, O’Bree captained the North Ballarat Rebels to the 1997 TAC Cup premiership.


James Rahilly

AFL 2016 Training - Geelong 140416

Playing career
Geelong: 90 games, 11 goals

Coaching career
Geelong: Assistant coach (forwards). Previously assistant coach 2010-2015 and VFL assistant coach 2008-09.

James Rahilly stepped into a full time role with the Cats coaching group in 2010 after working in 2008-09 on a part time basis.

He has established himself as a key member of the coaching group, with his knowledge of the game and forthright views a critical element of the Cats successful coaching mix. He was a key member of the coaching group that masterminded the 2011 premiership win.

Rahilly’s previous two seasons saw him working as a specialist coach with the playing group and as an assistant coach with the Cats VFL unit.

Rahilly filled both roles successfully in 2008 and 2009, working mainly with the club’s young players.

He served as an additional set of eyes for the coaching staff throughout the 2009 AFL finals campaign from a behind the goals vantage point.

Rahilly spent his entire AFL career with the Cats, kicking 11 goals in 90 league games between 1998-2005.

Drafted from the Geelong Falcons, Rahilly debuted in round six, 1998 against Hawthorn. He helped the Cats reach the finals three times in his eight seasons at Skilled Stadium (2000, 2004, 2005) and was a key member of the club’s VFL premiership win in 2002. Rahilly won the Norm Goss medal as best on ground in the VFL decider against Port Melbourne.

Rahilly was named as Geelong’s best first year player in 1998 and best clubman in 2002.


Matthew Knights

Playing career
Richmond: 279 games, 141 goals

Coaching career
Geelong: Assistant coach (midfield) since 2015. Previously VFL coach 2012-2014.
Essendon: senior coach 2008-2010
Bendigo: VFL coach 2005-2007
Port Adelaide Magpies (SANFL): senior coach 2004


Knights has coached at AFL, VFL and SANFL level during his career. He led Essendon for three seasons after stints with Bendigo and Port Adelaide Magpies. Knights led the Bombers to the finals in 2009 and was responsible for giving opportunities to many young players.

In his first season with the Cats he worked brilliantly in grooming young players for senior selection and guided the club to the VFL premiership. He followed up by leading the Cats back to the VFL grand final in 2013. Knights moved back to the AFL program for the 2015 season as assistant coach working with the Cats midfield group.

Before being appointed Essendon coach in late 2007, Knights guided the Bendigo Bombers, twice taking them to the VFL finals. He also coached Port Adelaide in the SANFL in 2004 after spending 2003 as an assistant coach with the club.


Knights enjoyed a brilliant playing career with Richmond. He was named in the Tigers team of the century, twice won the best & fairest, was named in the All Australian team in 1998 and finished runner up in the 1995 Brownlow medal.

Knights retired in 2002 after playing 279 games, 101 as club captain. He played in Richmond’s finals campaigns in 1995 and 2001.


Nigel Lappin

AFL 2017 Training - Geelong Cats 130117

Playing Career

Brisbane: 279 games, 174 goals

Coaching Career
Geelong: Assistant coach since 2009.


Nigel stepped straight from the field to the coaching box in 2009, and his first taste of coaching resulted in another premiership. 

Lappin was also instrumental in the 2011 premiership as midfield coach. He continued as an assistant coach before moving into a development coaching role in 2013. He returned to the AFL program for the 2015 season working with the Cats midfield group.

Lappin was named as an assistant coach with the Cats in October 2008 just weeks after finishing a brilliant playing career, and has added two flags as an assistant coach to the three he won as a player.


Lappin made his name as one of the AFL's elite midfielders while helping the Brisbane Lions turn into a powerhouse.

Lappin was co-captain of the Lions and won the club's best & fairest in 2004, helping Brisbane past the Cats in the preliminary final that year. He also finished in the top three of Lions voting in 1997, 2000 and 2001 and is a four time All Australian (2001-2004).

Nigel was a catalyst to the Lions hat-trick of premierships (2001-2003), famously showing his courage by playing in the 2003 decider with broken ribs.

Over a career that spanned 15 seasons, Lappin played 279 games, gathered 5,911 possessions and kicked 174 goals.


Matthew Scarlett

Playing career
Geelong: 284 games, 17 goals

Coaching career
Geelong: Assistant coach (backline). Previously development coach in 2015.
Western Bulldogs: Development coach 2013-2014
South Barwon (GFL): Senior coach since 2014


Matthew Scarlett rejoined the Cats as development coach in the summer of 2014 after spending two seasons in a similar role with the Western Bulldogs.

While fulfilling his role with Geelong, Scarlett also served as coach of South Baron in the GFL.

Scarlett was appointed as a full-time assistant for the 2016 season and took charge of the backline with immediate results.


One of the greatest players of all time, Scarlett retired after the 2012 season and 284 games in the navy & white hoops.

Scarlett was a major catalyst in Geelong’s successful era, playing in all three premierships and 22 finals in his career. He earned six All Australian selections and was named the Cats’ best & fairest in 2003.

A brilliant attacking defender, Scarlett redefined the way a defensive player could dominate a game, propelling many forward thrusts from the last line of defense while at the same time keeping the oppositions key forward’s locked down.

Scarlett is a life member of the club and also a legend within the Geelong Football Club hall of fame.


Corey Enright

Playing career

Geelong: 332 games, 66 goals

Coaching career

Geelong: Development coach 2016


No sooner had Corey Enright retired did he return to Simonds Stadium as a development coach for season 2017.

Enright worked closely with the Cats' young players towards the end of his career and his experience will continue to be of great benefit his new role.

Enright is the 13th former Geelong player from the past decade to embark on a coaching career in the AFL system.


Corey Enright retired in 2016 after playing a club record 332 games in a decorated career in the navy and white hoops. He was a key member of three premiership teams, twice won the best & fairest and earned six All Australian selections as arguably the greatest half back of the modern era.


Paul Hood

Coaching career

Geelong AFLW: senior coach 2019
Geelong VFL Women's: senior coach 2017/18
Geelong VFL: senior coach 2015
Geelong Falcons: senior coach 2010


Paul Hood took the reigns as inaugural coach of the Geelong Cats team that entered the VFL Women’s League for the first time in 2017. He was honoured as the VFLW coach of the year for 2017.

In 2018, he was announced as the Cats inaugural AFLW coach for the 2019 season.

Hood has senior coaching experience with the Geelong Falcons in the TAC Cup and the Cats men's VFL team and enjoyed a decorated playing career.


Hood won the 1995 Morrish Medal as the TAC Cup’s best player, and played VFL football with Geelong and North Ballarat. Hood then enjoyed a long playing career in the GFL with St Joseph’s before venturing into coaching.