This Saturday Craig Bellamy will enter the coaches box for the 400th time in his illustrious career when his side takes on Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Melbourne Storm master will become just the seventh coach in NRL history to reach the milestone and incredibly only the second to reach 400 at one club.
Bellamy’s impeccable record of 271 wins from 399 games ranks him in the top four for most wins by any coach in the history of the game.
His winning percentage of 68.1 per cent is the highest of any coach in the top eight for most wins of all-time.
Match: Storm v Knights
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park
Since his arrival in Melbourne back in 2003, Storm have gone on a remarkable run of success that is nearly unmatched across any code in Australian sport.
The Club has played in Finals in 14 of the 15 seasons under his reign – AFL side Sydney Swans are the only other team to have matched that consistent run.
In that time Bellamy has led Storm to six Minor Premierships, nine Preliminary Final appearances, seven Grand Finals, four Premierships and three World Club Challenge wins.
A four-time Dally M Coach of the Year, including in 2017, Bellamy’s record speaks for itself as he has rightly earned a place in the discussion as not only one of the greatest coaches in rugby league history, but also Australian sport.
His last two seasons have seen his legacy reach new heights as Bellamy guided Melbourne to back-to-back minor premierships and consecutive Grand Final appearances, that saw his team only drop 10 games across both the 2016 and 2017 (44 wins from 54 games).
Bellamy’s reputation is built on the fact that no coach has worked harder in the pursuit of success. In doing so he has also created a culture that has made Storm respected and admired around the country and internationally.
Over his 16 years at the elite level, Bellamy has developed a unique ability to enable his players to get the best out of themselves, not only as footballers but as people.
Many players have come to Melbourne in search of opportunity and have been transformed into representative stars; Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Ryan Hoffman, Will Chambers, Jesse Bromwich and Israel Folau have all reached superstar status in the game under Craig Bellamy’s tutelage.
It is that care and protection for his players and their families on and off the field that sees him held in the highest regard by the 151 players who have played under him at Melbourne.
As well as developing players, Bellamy has a proven record of developing his assistants into head coaches. Current NRL coaches Brad Arthur (Eels), Stephen Kearney (Warriors), Anthony Seibold (Rabbitohs) and Dean Pay (Bulldogs) have all graduated under the Storm mentor, while current assistant coaches Adam O’Brien and Jason Ryles have been talked about as future head coaches.
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy paid tribute to Bellamy and the success he has overseen at the Club.
“On behalf of everyone involved at Melbourne Storm, board, management, staff, players, partners, members and fans, I would like to pass on my utmost congratulations to Craig Bellamy on reaching 400 games as coach of our Club,” Donaghy said.
“Craig’s work ethic is not only unmatched, it is infectious. He inspires everyone within our four walls to work hard and his ability to do that week in and week out over the last 16 years is a testament to his greatness.
“On Saturday he will join the likes of Tim Sheens, Brian Smith and Warren Ryan in the 400-club – elite company in which he rightly deserves his place amongst. Craig’s legacy continues to grow year on year with every success he strives to take our Club towards and he is rightly considered amongst the greatest to have stepped foot in an NRL coaches box.
“Congratulations must also go to Wendy, his children and grandchildren on this achievement. Such success at the elite level would not be possible without the support of an incredible family such as the Bellamys.”
NRL Head Coach debut game: Melbourne Storm v Cronulla, Shark Park, 16 March, 2003 (Round 1)
Previous Appointments: Canberra President’s Cup (1993-95), Reserve Grade (1996), NRL Assistant (1997), Brisbane Broncos Assistant Coach 1998-02
Playing Record: Canberra Raiders (1982 – 1990), Swinton (1991), Canberra Raiders (1992)
Premiership Coaching Record: 399 Games, 271 Wins, 125 Losses, 2 Draws, Winning percentage 68.1%
Minor Premierships: 6 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2016, 2017)
Finals Series: 14 (2003-2009, 2011-2017)
Grand Final appearances: 7 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016, 2017)
Premierships: 4 (2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)
Coaching achievements: World Club Challenge (2010, 2013, 2017), Dally M Coach of the Year (2006, 2007, 2011, 2017)
Australia Assistant (2005-07), New South Wales Origin (2008, 2009, 2010), Country Origin (2005, 2006, 2007), ANZACs Coach (2004), President’s Cup Premiership (Canberra 1995)
All Time Coaching Records (Most Games Coached)
W Bennett 791
T Sheens 669
B Smith 601
W Ryan 415
B Fulton 405
R Willey 403
C Bellamy 399
J Gibson 394
J Lang 371
F Stanton 343
All Time Coaching Records (Most Wins)
W Bennett 490 (62%)
T Sheens 340 (50.8%)
B Smith 305 (50.7%)
C Bellamy 271 (68.1%)
B Fulton 261 (64.4%)
J Gibson 245 (62.1%)
W Ryan 233 (56.1%)
R Willey 231 (57.3)