Wayne Bennett, the most successful coach in the NRL, was coach of the Brisbane Broncos for 21 years from 1988 until 2008. In 2009 he was appointed Coach of St George Illawarra and in 2010 he took the team to its first NRL victory in 31 years. When he left them, they were the reigning premiers. Wayne became coach of the Newcastle Knights in 2012 before heading back north to coach the Brisbane Broncos once again from the 2015 season.
Wayne Bennett is recognised in Rugby League circles as one of the most influential and innovative of modern day coaches. He is the longest serving coach of a single club, has one of the best winning percentages, and ranks second in the number of premierships won as a coach at an elite level.
A former state and international player, Wayne began coaching in 1976 at club level, and in 1986 became Queensland Director of Coaching. In 1987 he became a full-time coach with the Canberra Raiders. In his first season with the Raiders, Wayne coached them to their first-ever Grand Final and was named Coach of the Year.
In 1988 Wayne joined the Brisbane Broncos as their inaugural coach. He guided the club to five premierships; two World Club Challenge titles; and three pre-season titles. Wayne was coach of the QLD State of Origin sides in 1987 and ‘88 and was appointed the inaugural Queensland Super League coach for the 1997 Tri-Series against NSW and New Zealand. He returned to State of Origin in 1998, where he guided Queensland to an historic 2-1 series victory over NSW.
The Broncos’ success in 1997, winning both the Telstra Cup and the Visa World Club Championship resulted in Wayne being named the Super League Coach of the Year.
In 1998 Wayne was chosen as the Australian coach for the final two Tests of the ANZAC series against New Zealand. The same year, he created history by becoming the first coach to steer his club, his state and his country to victory in their respective series. He was also named Queensland Coach of the Year, Australian Domestic Team Coach of the Year and on a personal level, Queensland Father of the Year.
Again in 2000, Wayne was named Coach of the Year when the Broncos won both the minor and major premierships. His success continued in 2001, when Queensland won the State of Origin series. The same year, the Queensland Government added Rugby League to the Queensland Academy of Sport program, of which Wayne was appointed the Director.
In 2008 he released his autobiography, Wayne Bennett, The Man in the Mirror.
Wayne is one of the most engaging and inspiring speakers in the country that leaves audiences hanging on his every word.
Wayne provided more than we expected. His speech had the whole crowd to attention. You could have heard a pin drop. He covered off on the points we requested in our pre-brief. He stayed right to the end 10pm and constantly signed books by requesting staff. Feedback this morning has been exceptional.
National Australia Bank
Wayne Bennett was great at our event! He was received really well and I've had lots of people say they enjoyed his session. He took lots of questions and hung around after the event so people could chat to him etc.
Feed back from our Clients has been wonderful, they enjoyed every moment of his speech.
Sime & Company Australia Pty Ltd
Wayne was able to identify the delegates’ business environment and worked his entire address around that subject. He was interesting, humorous and really dug down to the grass roots of team leadership. He handled current Rugby League headlines with ease and was incredibly interesting and provocative. What I admired most is the personal time he spent after the talk, mixing with all delegates during coffee break. He specifically made sure that everyone had moved back to the conference room for the continuation of their session before he departed from the hotel. Wayne was a great asset to the conference and thank you for helping us to make it such a success.
A huge thank you to Wayne, he did a brilliant job for us yesterday, and the feedback has been awesome from everyone that attended the event. You could feel the excitement in the room when he arrived, and he had them from the moment he started speaking and was very gracious with his time after the event.
Belmont Golf Club
Wayne Bennett was a highlight. He demonstrated that there are alternate approaches to be a successful over a prolonged period. He was able to articulate Leadership traits particularly well. His presentation was relevant, relatable and incredibly valuable.
Executive Manager Commonwealth Bank
Wayne was very inspirational, engaging and honest. We all felt we were a part of his team, being coached, encouraged and led by a leader with such integrity, honesty and trust.
Logan City Council
Wayne’s speech was excellent – very appropriate for our Workshop. You could hear a pin drop in the room while he was speaking.
Nutrition Service Associates
The venue and environment for this presentation was very challenging - outdoor terrace, long and narrow, with an audience that had not seen each other for many months and wanted to catch up. Wayne commanded attention - and he got it!! Once the crowd had quietened down you could hear a pin drop - Wayne's content was right on brief - and his delivery was captivating.
Good mix of humour and serious presentation.
Underwriting Agencies Council
Wayne was spectacular. You could hear a pin drop in the room while he spoke. He was to the point and right on the point that I was hoping that he would cover, i.e. Teamwork. He is so respected and it is very clear why he is so respected. Our group really enjoyed and appreciated Wayne's talk. In short, Wayne far exceeded my expectations.
Wayne was brilliant and had us all hanging on ever word spoken.
Cooks Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd
Yesterday afternoon, colleagues were still speaking about Wayne and I heard guys quoting some of the points mentioned by Wayne. One of my colleagues said some of Wayne's comments caused him to do some serious soul-searching at the weekend. I also have been thinking frequently of the things Wayne said. For the duration of Wayne's talk, there was absolute silence in the room, nobody moved. Everyone was leaning forward so as not to miss a word. He made such a remarkable impression on the group. Wayne's talk fitted perfectly with our company and I could not think of a speaker who would have done a better job.