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Justin Leppitsch

Last played for Brisbane Lions in 2006
Games: 227     Born: October 1, 1975     Origin: Springvale
Playing Height: 191cm     Playing Weight: 97kg     Position: Defender
Last Drafted: Pick #4 1992 National Draft by Brisbane Lions
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Justin Leppitsch Biography

Monday, 13 September 2021
Justin Leppitsch and Brendon Bolton will join Collingwood's new-look coaching team under new senior coach Craig McRae.
Friday, 25 September 2020
Justin Leppitsch informs Richmond of his decision to step away from football at the end of the 2020 season.

"I have always known that eventually this time would come, and I would move on and do other things in my life," Leppitsch said.

"In many ways the current climate expedited something I have been thinking about for some time and it will help the club manage through this difficult period.

"I am absolutely committed to Richmond for the remainder of this season and hope we can add to the success we have achieved over the past three seasons."

Thursday, 28 September 2017
After being sacked as head coach of the Lions, Justin Leppitsch is pinching himself to be involved in a Grand Final with Richmond as an assistant coach.

"A lot of emotions have gone into the last 12 months for me, good and bad," he said.

"So it's a hard one to even quantify.

"(Whenever) you get to Grand Final week, you're very thankful and I'm just happy Damien asked me to come back last year and be a part of this."

Thursday, 10 November 2016
Justin Leppitsch returns to Richmond after accepting a role as the club's forward line coach.

"I've come to Richmond to support 'Dimma' and make the players better and almost finish off the work I was doing years ago," Leppitsch said.

"Anything is possible."

Thursday, 1 September 2016
Sacked Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch says he has no hard feelings towards the club after his dismissal following three seasons at the helm.

"Obviously, it was disappointing early, but there's a great realisation in this game that we're all just passing parades," Leppitsch said.

"There's been disappointment, there's been levels of inevitability at times and there's been other times I've felt disappointed that this process has happened, but it's also part of the big picture of the footy club and the club is bigger than any individual."

Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Brisbane Lions captain Tom Rockliff admits the players feel some responsibility for coach Justin Leppitsch's sacking.

"The players are the ones out there performing and trying to perform the game-plan, and unfortunately we weren't able to do that this season to the level that needed to get done," Rockliff said.

"You absolutely take a little bit of responsibility for it."

Monday, 29 August 2016
Justin Leppitsch is sacked as head coach of the Lions after the end of his third season in charge, in which time he had won 14 of a possible 66 games.
Sunday, 28 August 2016
Justin Leppitsch is unsure whether he will see out his contract as Brisbane Lions coach but claims the criteria he's being judged on "shifted" three weeks ago from long-term development to his win-loss ratio.

"I don't have a gut feel, I don't know (what the board's decision will be). I suppose the messaging throughout the year has been long term throughout the footy club, apart from three weeks ago," Leppitsch said.

"Every moment before that to me (there) hasn't been a win-loss ratio component to me keeping my job, but obviously things have shifted the last couple of weeks.

"So I'm uncertain as to what has transpired."

Friday, 26 August 2016
Justin Leppitsch concedes that this week's game against St Kilda could be his last as Brisbane Lions coach.

"It could be, everyone knows that, but I'm not thinking about it like that, that's for sure," he said.

"I've been around a while. I've seen a few builds.

"I've done it here as a player, I've lived it, I've lived what these boys are doing now.

"I've done it as an assistant coach (at Richmond) as well, from the bottom to the finals and I'm here again now as a senior coach.

"I've got faith in the cycle, maybe it's blind faith, because I've done it a few times I've got more faith than most."

Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Justin Leppitsch has outlined his vision for 2017 and beyond to the Brisbane Lions' board in what amounts to a last-ditch pitch to save his job.

Outlining the problems he inherited when he took over as Lions coach in late 2013, Leppitsch offered the board a detailed presentation on his plans for the club's future.

"We haven't made a decision," Brisbane Lions chairman Bob Sharpless said following the meeting.

"We were always going to wait until after the season was completed to finalise our position.

"We've just been gathering as much information as possible. It's a complex decision."

Thursday, 18 August 2016
Justin Leppitsch will present to the Brisbane Lions board next Tuesday in a pitch that could seal his future.

Despite having a year to run on his contract, the 3-17 record has heaped a mountain of pressure on the triple premiership player's tenure.

Chairman Bob Sharpless confirmed earlier this month Leppitsch's position would be reviewed, and deputy chairman and club legend Leigh Matthews has made it clear his loyalty lies with the club rather than Leppitsch.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016
As the clock ticks towards a review into Justin Leppitsch's coaching tenure at the Brisbane Lions, his key backer in Leigh Matthews appears to have again softened his once unshakable support.

Speaking on his regular spot on Adelaide's 5AA radio station on Wednesday night, Matthews said his primary focus was the health of the club, not an individual.

When asked if his allegiances lay with Leppitsch, Matthews was firm.

"No, no, no, no, my flag is next to the Brisbane Lions' best interest," Matthews said.

"Everyone that knows me, knows that.

"Let's not kid ourselves here. Whatever happens in my footy life, the team comes first - always has, always will.

"If you're asking that specific question of my philosophy about football clubs, let's not kid ourselves, that's the case."

Friday, 12 August 2016
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says speculation linking Hawthorn assistant coach Brett Ratten to a senior coaching return is "disrespectful".

Ratten has been mooted as a possible successor for under-pressure Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch, whose position will come under review at the end of a disastrous season.

"I think it's a bit disrespectful to even think about where he (Ratten) might be going to or what he's going to be doing," Clarkson said.

"He needs to assess his own situation, but there's not a coaching vacancy at this point of time.

"I don't think it's fair that anyone speculates one way or the other what's going to happen."

Sunday, 7 August 2016
Following a 138-point loss to Adelaide, Lions chairman Bob Sharpless says Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch's job would be reviewed at the end of the home and away season.

"The club will stick to the path that it has outlined in recent weeks, which is that Justin is contracted until the end of 2017 and as such, he will coach the remaining three games before being reviewed once the season is over," Sharpless told Channel Nine.

Following the game, Leppitsch lamented the lack of concessions given to Brisbane in comparison to other interstate clubs.

"We've been given nothing as a footy club," Leppitsch said.

"No extra concessions and money. GWS bought Heath Shaw and (Shane) Mumford with the extra concessions ... you've got to understand there's a system behind what you see on game day.

"Coaching is only one part of a very big picture."

Sunday, 24 July 2016
Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch says he sees himself as a first-year coach after spending much of his time in the job turning over the playing list.

"To be honest, I feel like a first-year coach, whereas the public sees me as a third-year coach," Leppitsch said.

"That might be the difference in how we perceive each other. I feel the club sees me as a first-year coach more than a third-year coach, given the fact that all I've done for two years is strip the list back.

"Not a lot of coaching in that. But now it's time to grab these boys and build on them."

Thursday, 21 July 2016
Brisbane Lions chief executive Greg Swann has denied any suggestion the struggling club has an issue with coach Justin Leppitsch's temper.

Leppitsch has come under fire after reacting angrily to rumours of a player revolt at the Lions during a press conference last week.

Leppitsch labelled the rumours "crap", "lies" and a "bunch of bulls**t" as the pressure continues to mount on the former Lions premiership star.

Last weekend's loss to Greater Western Sydney was a club-record equalling 12th in a row and leaves the Lions with just one win from 16 matches this season.

"He's very measured - that stems from one minor blow-up at a press conference," Swann told Brisbane's Triple M radio.

"Every coach in the world has had a minor blow-up at a press conference but from the playing group's point of view there's certainly no bad tempers."

Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Tom Rockliff has flatly rejected reports he is overweight and accused the media of trying to drive a wedge between players and coach Justin Leppitsch.

Rockliff was the subject of a scathing newspaper column last week, which claimed the midfielder would not pass Carlton's strict in-season skinfold requirements and was setting a bad example for his teammates.

"To suggest I don't train hard and he mentioned about my weight, as well, when I had a DEXA scan a few weeks ago that suggests I'm in the best shape of my life," Rockliff told RSN radio station.

"I think we've got a really good footy club that operates well and unfortunately at the moment, we've lost 12 games on the trot and everyone's looking for answers.

"Externally, (the media is) trying to almost drive a wedge into our playing group and coaching staff and it is hard at times, but that's the industry we live in."

Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Mark Thompson has flagged his interest in a return to senior coaching but says he is not gunning for the Brisbane Lions post that Justin Leppitsch is under pressure to hold.

Leppitsch is contracted until the end of 2017, but the Lions' dismal 1-15 record has sparked speculation he could be moved on at the end of the season.

Thompson, 52, has been out of football for the past two years after leaving Essendon, where he was fined $30,000 for his role in the club's drugs scandal.

He said his passion for the game and for coaching had returned but an immediate appointment if the Lions' job became available was not on his radar.

"I would probably ask them more questions than they'd asked me," he told News Corp.

"You'd want to know who you’re working for this time round, because I'm wiser and I know exactly what I want.

"It would be really hard to employ me because I'd ask the questions they might not want to hear."

Saturday, 16 July 2016
Under-fire Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch has lashed out at continued media criticism of the club and his players.

A newspaper column on Saturday took square aim at Tom Rockliff, describing him as overweight and a regular on Brisbane's social scene who sets a bad example as Lions skipper.

"Some of the crap that's written about our players, basically lies written in the press annoy me, about our boys," Leppitsch said.

"Some of our young boys don't deserve it, like Squiz (Lewis Taylor) and our captain as well, copping it for no reason – it's all rubbish.

"That kills me, but I can cop it, so bring it on. I'm big and strong enough to handle it and to be honest I don't really rate the opinions of those that are speaking, so that's the way it goes."

Thursday, 14 July 2016
Defiant Brisbane Lions vice-captain Dayne Zorko has thrown his support behind Justin Leppitsch, saying the relationship between the coach and his players has never been better.

Reports have circled the Lions in the past week suggesting that unrest between senior players and Leppitsch had forced the club to look at further football department appointments.

"Unless you're inside the four walls you don't understand what really goes on," Zorko said.

"We've got a lot of trust and a lot of belief in Leppa and he's doing a really great job at the moment.

"These rumours started to happen at this time last year as well, but I can dismiss that right now.

"Things are as strong as they've ever been at the club. The playing group stands right behind Leppa, even the senior players."

Monday, 27 June 2016
Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch believes his job is under no immediate threat and says going down the youth path was always "a deliberate plan".

"When I got this job and I presented for this job … I said to the football club, 'There are probably about eight to 10 players left on the list', and that's the case," Leppitsch said.

"I've actually put through everything I said to the football club, 'This will be the youngest year we will have as a football club and we'll grow from there', and that's the case.

"We are the youngest team in the competition. I've debuted 21 players – that's one (player) every two-and-a-half games … and (we've) played the most amount of games into those kids."

Saturday, 11 June 2016
Justin Leppitsch expresses his frustration at constantly being asked about his coaching future.

"Here we go again. Can we stop these silly questions? I'm getting a bit over it to be perfectly honest," Leppitsch said when asked whether he felt safe in his job following the Lions' big loss to Fremantle.

"Why would you ask someone if they're gong to keep their job?

"First of all, if you said that to someone on the street, it's a disgusting thing to say.

"Second of all, ask someone who decides it, not me. That's the answer to it, so stop asking me. Ask Leigh, ask Swanny.

"I've got a job for 18 months to do and I'm doing it. Can we finish that right now? Done. Thank you. Next question."

Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Brisbane Lions director Leigh Matthews has shot down any suggestion coach Justin Leppitsch is under pressure to lose his job, confirming he will hold his role in 2017.

Leppitsch is contracted to the Lions until the end of 2017 but has come under fire as his side has again struggled this season, winning just one game in the opening 11 rounds.

"People always wonder what's going on with the coach, well Justin Leppitsch is already contracted for 2017 and will be the coach in 2017," Matthews said.

"No bones about that, because we are very much in perseverance mode at this stage of the club's evolution."

Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Brisbane Lions CEO Greg Swann says there is no doubt under-fire coach Justin Leppitsch will remain at the helm of the team for the 2017 AFL season.

The Lions have struggled to a 1-10 start to the season and sit above only Essendon on the ladder, leading to suggestions the club could be looking in a different direction.

"He's contracted. I got asked on the weekend is there any pressure, and I said, 'Not from the club there isn't'," Swann said.

"We're going down the path of trying to play these kids, and we're not changing course."

Lions captain Tom Rockliff has thrown his support behind under-siege coach Justin Leppitsch, but says it's time the Brisbane Lions stop making excuses and start performing.

"The playing group has full support behind Leppa and Leppa has full faith in the playing group," Rockliff said.

"The team has full faith in the game-plan and the way we play. The most important thing is we stay consistent.

"I think we've probably made a few too many excuses for ourselves in the past.

"The playing group is really strong and tight and we've continued to commit to each other and had honest conversations week in and week out."

Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire says he wasn't offended by comments from Brisbane Lions counterpart Justin Leppitsch questioning the Swans’ use of the stretcher in their three-point win at the Gabba.

The controversy occurred when Swans forward Callum Sinclair went down clutching his knee close to his own goalsquare in the dying minutes of the match.

The Swans called for a stretcher with the ball in play inside the home side's forward 50, which is when the emergency umpire blew the whistle to halt play, an action since deemed to be a mistake by the AFL.

Leppitsch was fuming post-match and hinted that the Swans had deliberately called for the stretcher as a tactic to stop play, but Longmire said that his club was fine with the comments made and happy to move on from the incident.

"It's really difficult (for an opposition coach) after a game to know exactly what happened," Longmire said.

"It's pretty clear, Callum (Sinclair) went over and hyper-extended his knee and we thought he'd done a pretty serious knee injury.

"The stretcher was called and the umpire blew the whistle.

"Callum had a scan yesterday, but you don't know that at the time.

"It's very difficult to get everything right immediately after the game so we move on from that pretty quickly."

Monday, 7 March 2016
Justin Leppitsch signs a new deal with the Brisbane Lions that will keep him as head coach of the club until the end of 2017.

"Our football club is on a journey and the hardest part of our journey is now done in many respects," Leppitsch said.

"We have made a lot of changes over the past two years but they have been changes for the better and we will see positive results in the years ahead.

"The recommitment of so many of our current players, as well as the influx of quality players and staff show that we are on the right track.

"We still have a lot of work to do but our foundation is strong and our future is bright."

Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Lions CEO Greg Swann says he would prefer Justin Leppitsch to be on a rolling contract for the rest of his time as head coach of the Brisbane Lions.

"We actually think he can coach, we're just going to extend him, and roll him over from here on in," Swann told Melbourne radio SEN.

"In our position, this one year will go forever."

Friday, 29 January 2016
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch will be out of contract at the end of 2016 but says he is still focused on his goals for the club.

"My personal situation (contract) is something I'm not that worried about to be perfectly honest," Leppitsch said.

"I see this as a 10-year job, so whatever happens with the (fine print) right now will happen. For me it's about building the club back to a superpower."

Sunday, 29 March 2015
Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch says he is more focused on getting wins than an extension to his contract.

"It's probably the last thing on my mind, to be perfectly honest," Leppitsch said.

"The excitement of what we've been able to achieve off the field and the spirit within the organisation has been a massive tick, but we still have to the do the on-field work and I have to lead that.

"I'm pretty comfortable but we just need to win. I'm not going to sign a contract if we finish with three wins this year and go backwards.

"I don't think anyone would be comfortable in extending my contract.

"But if we do improve and we do win a few more games than last year, that's when you look at that."

Thursday, 7 August 2014
Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch says the Match Review Panel needs an overhaul.

"To a man, I think most people think the consistency is not there, mainly because it's based around points and less [around] common sense," Leppitsch said.

"I don't have the answers right now, but I've got a feeling it'll change.

"Sometimes the numbers just don't add up do they?

"When you're not dealing with human beings, case by case and common sense, when you're dealing in just numbers, mistakes can happen either way, for the good and the bad.

"I think that'll be reviewed at the end of the year."

Tuesday, 5 August 2014
The composure of coach Justin Leppitsch has been the key to the form turnaround of the Brisbane Lions, according to ruckman Stefan Martin.

The Lions have won five of their past nine matches, including their past two outings against Gold Coast and Melbourne, and Martin said the wins have stemmed from the attitude of the coach.

"I think the most stark thing for me is that he's always retained his composure with us," Martin said.

"We had a few nasty losses earlier in the year, and not once did he ever lose us and try to point the finger at players.

"He might be angry in the box and I'm sure he is on the walk down to address us, but the second he does address us he is very composed and looking towards the future."

Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Lions forward Jonathan Brown says new Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch has been swapping notes with former coach and friend Michael Voss.

"He's helped Leppa out with identifying where the list is at. They've been through a hell of a lot obviously premiership teammates," Brown said.

"It wasn't like Leppa's come in and 'white-anted' him or anything like that."

Thursday, 3 October 2013
Brisbane Lions senior assistant Mark Harvey has left the club as a new coaching structure takes shape around recently appointed coach Justin Leppitsch.
Monday, 30 September 2013
New Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch says he is working hard to convince disgruntled young Lions to stay at the club.

"I was a 17-year-old drafted to Brisbane as well so I share their fears," he said.

"I nearly left, myself, after two years. They are in a very similar situation that I was.

"For me it is getting them to think with their head as much as their heart."

Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Justin Leppitsch says his first job as coach of the Lions is to convince homesick players to stay.

"One thing I know about the Brisbane landscape is that you need to keep your talent and grow that talent and that's the plan in going forward," Leppitsch said.

"I'm very comfortable that the club is going forward. One thing I know, we are building and are going to build a really good organisation."

Tuesday, 24 September 2013
The Brisbane Lions announce Justin Leppitsch as coach of the Lions for three years beginning in 2014.
Tigers CEO Brendon Gale says Justin Leppitsch will excel in his role as head coach of Brisbane after serving as an assistant coach at Richmond.

"We encouraged him and supported him and we're happy for him," Gale said.

"It's terrific. It's something he's set out to achieve and he's made a big impact with our group, collectively and individually with his defenders.

"He's been a terrific individual who will be missed by our club but it's a great opportunity and he'll do a great job."

Friday, 13 September 2013
Justin Leppitsch is interviewed for vacant coaching job at the Lions.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Justin Leppitsch becomes the next member of Damien Hardwick's new team at Richmond after being appointed assistant coach in charge of the Tigers' backline.

"I'm excited about the challenge, to join a group that is on the right path, and I'm really keen to work with a new group of coaches and players," Leppitsch said.

"I've never been involved in one of the bigger AFL clubs before, and I'm looking forward to learning about the history and tradition Richmond is famous for."

Thursday, 2 July 2009
Josh Drummond has been ruled out of Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide as he recovers from a calf injury.

"You've got to be very careful with injuries now, particularly with soft-tissue injuries," Brisbane assistant coach Justin Leppitsch said today.

"We're very mindful with him, he's got a bit of a history with ongoing injury, so we've just got to manage him very carefully."

Wednesday, 20 May 2009
The Brisbane Lions have finally had enough of Jason Akermanis, and have said so publicly with Brisbane coach Michael Voss demanding that Akermanis explain comments about the Lions made to the media.

Akermanis accused former teammates Justin Leppitsch and Mal Michael of being petty and snubbing his 2001 wedding because they felt he didn't deserve his Brownlow that year.

"Our fundamental philosophy is that our club is our people - eventually you have to sit there and say `you can't possibly take that'," Voss said.

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