323. Bob Wilson

Coach Inductee

Scottsdale/Ringarooma/Latrobe/George Town, 1969-88

Scottsdale captain-coach (NTFA), 1969-76
Ringarooma captain-coach (NEFU), 1980-83
Latrobe coach (NWFU), 1984-86
George Town playing coach (NTFL), 1987-88
Scottsdale State premiership, 1973
Scottsdale NTFA premierships 1970, 1971, 1973 (Runner-Up 1974, 1975)
Ringarooma NEFU Premierships 1980, 1981
Scottsdale ‘Greatest Team, 1960-2000’ (Coach, Ruck Rover)
Scottsdale FC Life Member, 1979

One of the most respected coaches ever to ply his trade in Tasmania, Bob Wilson compiled a fine playing career in Victoria with Essendon and Brunswick before accepting the coaching job at Scottsdale in 1969. Inheriting a team which had just tasted NTFA premiership success under his predecessor Graham Gahan, Wilson immediately set to work ensuring that the Magpies would remain a premiership threat, instilling strong standards of discipline, honesty and hard training, while also continuing to espouse the club’s established handball-heavy
‘keepings off’ style of football, of which Wilson was already a strong proponent.

Wilson’s tenure met with almost immediate success: boasting a fine mix of experienced stars and young guns the likes of Jim Leitch, Stephen Nicholls, Ken Lette, Greg Lethborg and Ron Hall, the Magpies claimed NTFA premierships under Wilson’s leadership in 1970, 1971 and 1973; Wilson’s own form as a player cannot be understated, regularly starring in his role as ruck-rover.

Wilson’s greatest achievement however was undoubtedly Scottsdale’s 1973 State Premiership triumph over Cooee. Having failed to claim the title in ’70 or ’71, Wilson’s success in convincing Scottsdale’s president and board to pay for the team to fly first to Hobart and then Burnie proved decisive, with the Magpies famously overcoming a six-goal ¾ Time deficit to overrun Cooee at West Park to finally claim that elusive state premiership.

Wilson stepped down as coach of Scottsdale at the end of 1976 after eight seasons and three flags, a period he described as the best of his life. He subsequently ‘headed bush’ to coach Ringarooma, guiding the Robins to North-East Football Union premierships in 1980 and 1981 before returning to top flight football with three seasons as coach of Latrobe.

Wilson’s final assignment was as coach of George Town in the NTFL, playing for two seasons – proudly alongside his sons – before hanging the boots up for good at the end of 1988, aged 46. His heart, however, always remained with Scottsdale, where he will forever be remembered as one of the club’s most iconic figures.