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To many people, Ron Barassi has been the face – and voice – of Aussie Rules football for decades. He’s coached some of the biggest names and greatest characters the game has seen and left his mark not only on the four clubs he led, but on the game itself.
Elite performance under pressure
He played or coached in 17 grand finals for 10 premierships by the age of 41.
In Ron’s own words, “’Practice makes perfect’ is rubbish. Perfect practice makes perfect. The same principle applies to attention to every detail.”
As a player Ron replaced his pre-game meal with protein shakes, wore white boots, was an early supporter of a national competition and international initiatives. To get a better view, Ron swapped the coach’s bench on the boundary line for a coach’s box up in the stands. He looked for recruits in Ireland and the USA. He read widely learning from coaches of other sports. He’s involved in developing the revolutionary Concave football boot.
Team and club building
The face of four football clubs, Barassi embodied entire organisations. As a coach, he was the prime mover who took each of his clubs from disarray to the heights of success, or at least to the threshold. Uncompromising in setting and maintaining standards, he created momentum around which new teams and club cultures were reborn.
His passion fuelled the fire in the dressing room, on the ground and in ¾ time huddles at 4 football clubs – and at over 1000 corporate and community speaking engagements - over 50 years.
His movie idol good looks and sense of fun have lit up screens since TV came to Australia in the 50’s
Ron is a Legend in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the AFL Hall of Fame.
He’s always forthright in stating his case.
He’s a man of his word.
Humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
He gives credit to luck and good mentors for his achievements. And he appreciates the support of football fans and players of all levels who make elite sport possible.
Doing the right thing
Even at age 72 he chased down a thug who had punched a woman in the street.
Loves a challenge. Has a go
Ron’s done just about everything – trekked Kokoda, cycled across Outer Mongolia, crewed for the Hamilton Island Yacht Race and skydiving; he’s abseiled down the side of a Melbourne office building and even walked on water (at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games opening ceremony)!
A great believer in giving back to the community which made his success possible, Ron has contributed to many individuals, organisations and causes throughout his life. These include: