The Brumbies have confirmed that Dan McKellar will step down from his position as head coach at the Canberra-based club at the end of the 2022 season.
McKellar is currently seconded to the Wallabies, taking on the role of assistant coach – forwards for the Australian national side’s 2021 Test season, and is set to stay in the role until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The 45-year-old initially joined the Brumbies in 2014, having grown his reputation in the Australian Capital Territory rugby community with the Tuggeranong Vikings.
Back-to-back Super Rugby AU finals
McKellar took the reins as head coach in 2018, leading the Brumbies to the Super Rugby semi-final in 2019, and back-to-back Super Rugby AU grand-finals in the last two seasons, guiding the side through unprecedented times in 2020 to claim a memorable domestic crown against the Reds at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
McKellar said: “It will be incredibly difficult to leave the Brumbies at the end of next season, but I feel that this is the right time to make a call on my future to give the club time to plan for beyond 2022.
“The Brumbies gave me a chance in 2014 and have shown tremendous faith in me over these last four years as head coach.
“I will obviously say my goodbyes when the time is right and I do want to thank everyone in the Brumbies family for their ongoing support, but we have a job to do next season, and I’m excited to get back to Canberra after finishing my duties with the Wallabies and finishing off my time with the Brumbies on a high.
“We have a talented, united group and from my perspective, making the decision now gives us all clarity and time to plan so that we can focus on the upcoming season as a team and organisation to perform at our best for our fans and our community.
“I truly love this club and what it stands for and I’ve always said my goal was to leave the Brumbies in a better place than when I took over as head coach, so I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that happens.”
Brumbies Rugby CEO Phil Thomson said: “While it will be tough to see Dan complete his time with us at the end of next season, it is helpful that he has made this decision now to allow us time to plan for the future.
“Dan has led the club incredibly well in his time as head coach and will leave a lasting legacy at the Brumbies when he departs at the end of next season.
“Winning Super Rugby AU in 2020, given the circumstances of that season will live long in the memory but Dan has also been instrumental in re-establishing our academy, which has seen both local talent and young players from around the country get a chance to play Super Rugby and to represent the club and it’s values.
“Dan and the team’s focus is solely on the 2022 Super Rugby season, but we will now begin the recruitment process to replace Dan together with ensuring that we maintain a good level of continuity in our staff group for 2023 and beyond.”
The Planet Rugby Show - Episode Eight
Mark Smith and Adam Kyriacou bring you another Planet Rugby Show, covering the goings-on in the sport.