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 a 1000 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 completed 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 in to 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:
Runner up in the Vic Division for 2008 Senior Australian of the Year
The Centenary Medal in 2003.
Kevin was one of three finalists for 'Coach of the Year' in the 2000 Australian Sports Awards, and the Essendon Football Team were judged as the National Team of 2000. The club and Kevin are justifiably proud of achieving these awards in an Olympic year.
In 2009, Kevin was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University for his services to football and particularly the way he has encouraged Aboriginal footballers into the sport.
Also in 2009, he was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame and in November of that year, appointed as coach of GWS.
In December 2013, Kevin received an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Sydney.
In 2014, he was be 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.
Also 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 eight books:
Client Comments for Kevin Sheedy
- The success of our annual planning day was due to the quality of Kevin's presentation. We were looking for insights into how creativity can be transformed into innovation and how planning supports delivery. Kevin delivered above our high expectations through his enthusiasm and passion for sport and life.The feedback from the audience was unanimous! Kevin is great speaker and I do not believe we could have chosen better.
Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism
- Kevin spent some valuable time pre-conference understanding our theme and the message we wanted to convey to our sales and marketing team. He nailed the objectives right from the first minute and his presentation was both captivating and entertaining. His understanding of what makes a business like our 'tick' was central to his presentation and gave his content great credibility. Definitely a highlight of our conference.
Philmac Pty Ltd
- Kevin did a fantastic job engaging our industry and getting key messages across in an informal and anecdotal manner. He shared his experience and wisdom with the audience whilst keeping the audience entertained with his subtle humour. Kevin has been an instrumental leader in change in the sports industry and we were pleased we selected him as the keynote to inspire our industry.
Department of Education & Communities
- Kevin Sheedy was great and very warm with all our guests - very happy with him.
- Kevin's attendance at our forum was described as a stroke of brilliance. He was carefully chosen for his passion, down to earth attitude and wide appeal to our target audience. He fulfilled all expectations in every way.
Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre
- Kevin was gracious with his time , genuinely interested in the local community and a fantastic speaker to the audiences that came to see him. It was inspiring seeing him get everyone involved in his presentation through his mix of humour , honesty and storytelling.
I would recommend Kevin to anyone , whether it be children, community members or corporate bankers. Through his life experiences, both professional and personal he has something worth sharing with everyone.
Australian Sports Commission
- Fantastic, related really well back to our audience about Chiropractic and small business, very impressive and professional.
- Everyone so enjoyed and commented how amazing he was and how it left an impression - very relaxed speaker and made everyone feel comfortable.
McDonalds Australia Limited
- Kevin was great to listen to. He adapted his experiences to our industry (private hospital) so everyone in the room could relate to him. The feedback from the staff who attended was excellent.
The Avenue Hospital
- I am writing to thank you for your contribution to the recent National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Construction Conference. Your speech during the Conference dinner was lively and engaging. I am sure that those present enjoyed hearing about your views on empowerment and leadership in the workplace. Your willingness to spend time with guests at the dinner was also very much appreciated. Thank you again for your participation.
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission
- Kevin Sheedy enthralled our team with real life stories and on occasion bringing tears of joy and sadness to many. It was a pleasure to have Kevin address our conference and provided a rare insight into the personal side of a amazing man as he shared some private memories of his Mother and Father. His level of professionalism and his love of public speaking was demonstrated with the decision to honour a business commitment so soon after the loss of his beloved Mother.
On Q Business Systems
- Thanks for a great breakfast and most entertaining speaker in Kevin Sheedy this morning.
Merilyn Hurle, Ronstan International
- Kevin was excellent in his presentation of his role as coach and our company's role with customers. He had the complete attention of the audience.
- Excellent communication while in the store. Always large crowds in attendance.
- All present, including the Chief Commissioner of Police and other Senior Officers were inspired by your message. Comments included: "He reminded us to think laterally—'outside the square'—and create new ideas.
- He emphasised the need for training of young people for jobs in the business world at all levels and stressed the need for motivation of management if companies were to be winners in an increasingly international market. With his quiet, inimitable manner, Kevin Sheedy has appeal to a wide cross-section of Australian business people.
Australian Poultry Industries Association
Institute of Chartered Accountants Association Vic
- Kevin was professional, funny, entertaining and did a great job relating his speech to the issues affecting our particular industry.
Institute of Electrical Engineers Victoria
- Kevin's video presentation added to the atmosphere. Topical and interesting for all.
Housing Industry Association
- Kevin had the whole audience in the palm of his hand. A great morning.
Serpell Primary School
- Kevin had great empathy for the audience and held their attention. His presentation was interesting and relevant. I believe that we got good value for money.
- We would like to express our sincere thanks for your assistance and presentation at our recent franchise conference. The fact that we had David Parkin pull out at the last minute did send panic stations through our organizing team, however Saxtons went into overdrive and came up with a fantastic alternative in you.
We do appreciate that it must have meant some rejigging of your commitments at the last minute to fit in your presentation which we will be eternally grateful for. At our last conference we had Andrew Gaze speak and they said I wouldn't be able to top that this time; well the response from my franchisees suggests that we delivered again, as they were extremely motivated by what you had to say. You connected with the audience from the very moment you spoke and the ideas and the way you presented them were easily understood and made relevant to the individual franchisees who are small business owners in there own right. We presented the book to all of the participants at the very end of the conference and they were very pleasantly surprised that they had been individually autographed as well.
So what looked like being a disastrous event ended with it being a great success,once again our sincere thanks for you making the effort and motivating 'Our Team'.
- Kevin was brilliant, passionate about his topic and excellent in relating it to our business audience. The audience were enthusiastic and our feedback has been fantastic. Kevin was a delight to deal with nothing was too much trouble and he stayed long after the event signing material for those present.
Maroondah City Council
- Sheeds made good valid points for future direction in planning business developments within the firm and through in a couple of motivational gems as well.
Well done, very professional and will use again for next retreat.
- Building a Team
- Developing Young Employees
- Empowerment and Leadership in the Workplace
- Pockets Full of Greatness
- Positive and Lateral Thinking
- The Forgotten Heroes
- Thinking and working outside the square: for the company and your own personal pride
- Thinking and working outside the square: for the company and your own personal pride
- Touch of Cunning