‘Seibold’ stat that may cost Kevvie Broncos job
Kevin Walters must convince Broncos powerbrokers his lack of experience as a professional head coach should not cost him the chance to replace former Brisbane mentor Anthony Seibold.
The Broncos are on the hunt for a new coach after severing ties with Seibold on Wednesday, only 20 months into a five-year contract.
Club legend Walters and North Queensland Cowboys premiership-winning coach Paul Green are believed to be at the top of the list of prospective candidates.
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However, News Corp can reveal influential Broncos figures are aware of Walters' record at Super League club Catalans Dragons, his only full time professional club head coaching role.
Walters coached the Dragons in 2009-10, finishing with 21 wins from 57 games for a winning record of 37 per cent.
Seibold was axed with a 35 per cent (14 wins from 40 games) record over two seasons at the Broncos, however has claimed the final two games of his tenure did not count as he was in COVID quarantine, which improves his percentage to 37.
Walters did resurrect the Dragons and took them to within one win of a Super League grand final before returning to Australia as an assistant to Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm in 2011.
Walters, who was head coach of Toowoomba and Ipswich in the semi-professional Queensland Cup, served assistant coach roles under Bellamy and Wayne Bennett at the Broncos before replacing Mal Meninga as the Queensland Origin coach in 2016.
A five-time premiership winner at the Broncos, Walters has the overwhelming support of Brisbane's 'Old Boys' brigade, who are desperate to see him given the opportunity to coach the club.
But he must prove to the Broncos why he deserves the job following the failures of inexperienced professional head coaches Ivan Henjak, Anthony Griffin and Seibold at the club.
Broncos chairman Karl Morris said the club would not rush to appoint Seibold's successor.
"We won't be rushing this process, the board will go through a thorough interview process," he said.
"We've seen five coaches leave their clubs during this season so we want to see what's out there.
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"It's virtually impossible to put someone in because of the COVID bubble, so Peter Gentle will continue as caretaker coach and we think he is doing a pretty good job.
"Peter has made it very clear that he doesn't want to be a head coach, but we have to look at the opportunities that are out there, so we will take a considered view."
While Green is not the sentimental favourite for the role, he does have the runs on the board from an NRL head coaching perspective.
After winning back-to-back Intrust Super Cup premierships with Wynnum-Manly, Green spent seven years at the helm of North Queensland, leading the club to its first NRL title in 2015 and a grand final loss in 2017.
The Broncos cannot ignore the Cowboys' results over the past three seasons which led to Green's dismissal, with the club finishing 13th in 2018, 14th last year and on track for another bottom four finish this season.
What has become clear following Seibold's sacking is the Broncos must find a coach able to deal with the intense scrutiny on the NRL's most popular club.
Henjak, Griffin and Seibold have all struggled in the high-pressure furnace at Red Hill and departing CEO Paul White admitted Brisbane's next coach had to be a strong figure.
"It is an enormously big role," White said.
"You need a huge amount of resilience. A profile does assist, but that's not to discount others out there that might be interested.
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"The role of a head coach is evolving, there are significantly more external pressures with the role.
"The person has to have huge amounts of energy and the ability to coach."
Former Broncos captain Sam Thaiday said Walters could help the club rediscover its character and culture.
"I'm going to throw my hat in the ring for Kevin Walters," Thaiday told Channel 9.
"He is Brisbane-based and knows the club really well and has been around the club for a long time.
"He can bring some change, bring the old ways and implement some of the old standards the Broncos had in the past.
"He can steer the Broncos forward into the future and some success as well."
Originally published as 'Seibold' stat that may cost Kevvie Broncos job