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Encyclopedia > Ron Barassi
Ron Barassi

Personal information
Birth 27 February 1936 (1936-02-27) (age 71), Castlemaine, Victoria
Recruited from Preston Scouts
Playing career¹
Debut 1953, Melbourne vs. , at
Team(s) Melbourne (1953-1964)

204 games, 295 goals Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (335x723, 167 KB) Summary Statue of Ronald Dale Barassi at the Parade of Champions, Melbourne Cricket Ground. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Castlemaine (IPA: /ˈkæsəlmæɪn/; note the Flat A rather than a Broad A) is a town in Victoria, Australia, in the Midlands region about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne, and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ...


Carlton (1965-1969) Carlton Football Club, nicknamed The Blues, is the sixth oldest Australian rules football club and the third oldest club in the Australian Football League. ...


49 games, 35 goals

Coaching career¹
Team(s) Carlton (1965-1971)

147 games - 99 wins, 47 losses, 1 draw Carlton Football Club, nicknamed The Blues, is the sixth oldest Australian rules football club and the third oldest club in the Australian Football League. ...


North Melbourne (1973-80) North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Kangaroos, is an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League. ...


198 games - 129 wins, 66 losses, 3 draws


Melbourne (1964, 1981-1985) Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ...


111 games - 34 wins, 77 losses


Sydney Swans (1993-1995) Sydney Swans is an Australian Football League (AFL) club based in Sydney, New South Wales. ...


59 games - 13 wins, 46 losses

¹ Statistics to end of 2005 season
Career highlights

Ronald Dale Barassi, Jr (born 27 February 1936) was an Australian rules football player and coach. During a long and brilliant career, Barassi has been one of the most important figures in the history of Australian football. His father, Ron Barassi Senior, was the first Australian footballer killed at Tobruk in World War II. The young Barassi spent his latter teenage years living with Norm Smith, coach of the Melbourne Football Club and a former teammate of his father. Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Awarded to the Melbourne Football Club player judged best and fairest for the season. ... The All-Australian Team is an all star team of Australian rules footballers, selected by a panel at the end of each season. ... The Australian Football World Tour was six-match series of International Rules Football, organised by football sports broadcaster and former VFL umpire Harry Beitzel in 1968. ... International Rules Football match at the Telstra Dome - Australia vs Ireland. ... The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1996, the Centenary year of the Australian Football League, to help recognise the contributions made to the sport of Australian rules football by players, umpires, media personalities, coaches and administrators. ... The Victorian Football League-Australian Football League (VFL/AFL) Italian Team of the Century was announced in June 2007. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... High marking is a key skill and spectacular attribute of Australian rules football Precise field and goal kicking using the oval shaped ball is the key skill in Australian rules football Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply football or footy is a code of... Tobruk or Tubruq (Arabic: طبرق; also transliterated as Tóbruch, Tobruch, Ţubruq, Tobruck ) is a town, seaport, municipality, and peninsula in eastern Libya in Northern Africa. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Norman Norm Smith (born November 21, 1915, died July 29, 1973) was a legendary Australian rules footballer and coach. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ...


Barassi's name is synonymous with Australian football for many reasons; incredible success as a player, as a revolutionary coach and an enduring media personality. For more than 50 years he has been one of the most influential people in the game, and the shadow he casts is matched by few, if any.

Contents

Early life

The only child of Ron Barassi Snr (whose Italian grandfather had emigrated from Switzerland in 1854) and his Irish-Welsh descended wife Elza (nee Ray), Ron was born in the central Victorian town of Castlemaine in 1936. The following year, Barassi Snr moved to Melbourne to play VFL football with the Melbourne Football Club. A pugnacious rover, Barassi Snr was a reserve in the Demons' 1940 premiership team before leaving to serve with the army in North Africa.


The Father-Son Rule

Barassi unintentionally changed the game without taking to the field. After his father's death at Tobruk in 1941, a group of players and officials at the Melbourne Football Club pledged to support his widow, Elza, and her young son. As a teenager, Barassi was determined to follow in his father's footsteps at the Demons, but the zoning system of the day required him to play for either Collingwood or Carlton. To ensure he played with the Demons, Melbourne went to the VFL and successfully lobbied for the creation of a Father-Son rule. When the time came for Barassi to be signed up, Melbourne picked him up from Preston Scouts in 1952 and he became only the second player signed under the new rule. This rule, with some modifications and adapted to the drafting system created in 1986, endures to the present day in the AFL.


The club had gone to great lengths to recruit the young Barassi, and coach Norm Smith took him under his wing after his mother moved to Tasmania. Smith offered the sixteen year-old use of his backyard bungalow. Looking back on the experience, Barassi believes that living with the man who was voted as the coach of the AFL's team of the century had a profound impact on his development. On his website, Barassi had this to say:


“Norm Smith loved his footy. That suited me fine. “His ability with young people, his strength of character, his ethics and values, came into my life at the right time.”


Melbourne was the dominant team of the 1950’s, and Barassi developed quickly by harnessing his fierce desire and submitting to Smith's fierce discipline. Initially unsure as to Barassi's best position, Smith played him as a second ruckman in 1954, despite his lack of inches for the position. Barassi played more as a second rover, and the term "ruck rover" entered the fotball lexicon. Within a few years, most teams imitated this structure which ultimately paved the way for a new-style of quicker on-ball play. Soon, Barassi was the key player in the team and a talisman for the club's performances, combining intense concentration with tremendous strength to break through packs and create scoring opportunities.


Barassi soon proved himself as an influential footballer, and was quickly handed leadership responsibilities. In 1957 he was appointed vice-captain, and as captain three years later. After losing the 1954 Grand Final to a more experienced Footscray team, the Demons dominated the VFL by winning flags in 1955-56-57 with a team hailed as the best to play the game. Barassi was a dominant finals player and his performance in the 1957 Grand Final was sensational: he booted five goals and collected possessions at will. Every media commentator voted him as best man afield.


But a resurgent Carlton gave him a dilemma in 1964. New president George Harris was desperate to have Barassi at Princes Park, and was willing to offer a lucrative contract if Barassi would cross to Carlton as captain-coach.


Keen to test his skills as coach in a fresh environment, Barassi also knew that the new wage - unthinkably high in a time where amateurs were still common - could help with his children’s education. He subsequently joined the Blues in 1965, a decision which shocked the football world. While it might seem commonplace today, high-profile players leaving clubs for financial security was virtually unheard of at that time.


Barassi believes he made the right decision, though he was reluctant to leave a club for which he had so much feeling. “Inevitably with many decisions in life there will be a downside. It is regrettable but you have to get on with things,” he said. “You have to ensure, as much as possible, that the decision you’ve made turns out right. Fortunately it worked out, and I’ll be forever grateful to Carlton for the start they gave me in coaching.”


Drawing from his own experience under Norm Smith, Barassi forced his squad to become more disciplined and committed to the club, and their career. He preached and played a tough brand of football, and asked his charges to play a selfless, team-oriented style.


In the twilight of his own playing days, Barassi oversaw the emergence of a new era of stars that included names such as Alex Jesaulenko and John Nicholls, marking his evolution from courageous and commanding footballer to clever and creative coach.


In 1968, he guided Carlton to its first premiership in 21 years, and in 1970, in front of the biggest ever VFL crowd, he conjured footy’s most famous comeback, as arch rivals Collingwood were run down after leading by 44 points at half-time.


After the 1971 season, Barassi left the Blues to focus on his business career. Only a year later, however, he was lured by the prospect of coaching another struggling team in blue and white.


Taking over for the 1973 season, Barassi found North Melbourne in much the same situation as Carlton had been eight years before. With a clear eye on success, administrators Allen Aylett and Ron Joseph had armed the Kangaroos with a new batch of stars through clever use of the short-lived ‘Ten-Year Rule’.


Proven champions from clubs throughout the country, including Malcolm Blight, Wayne Schimmelbusch, Sam Kekovich, Barry Cable, John Rantall, Barry Davis and Doug Wade were soon lured to Arden Street. However, it required a coach of Barassi’s quality to pull all the elements together into a winning formula.


The miracle worker didn’t disappoint, bringing a combination of tactical brilliance and ultra-disciplined coaching to the flagless Roos. Taking over the wooden spoon winners of 1972, he led North to their first VFL premiership just three years later.


The Kangaroos went on to win another premiership in 1977, but it very nearly wasn’t, as North Melbourne and gave up a late lead against Collingwood in the second ever drawn VFL grand final. Within a week, Barassi had picked his side up from this disappointment to lead North to a memorable triumph.


For Barassi, his premiership victories at North rank with the epic 1970 Grand Final as his finest coaching moments.


In 1981 Barassi returned to Melbourne, which had fallen on hard times. The football side of the club was in disarray, so with long-term under-19 coach Ray “Slug” Jordan, Barassi set about building morale from the junior ranks upwards.


The under-19’s made three straight grand finals and won premierships in 1981 and 1983, but the senior side couldn’t make the same impression.


However, Barassi clearly laid some foundations for what would become a revitalised Melbourne side. “In the five years we were there I think we raised the level of the club quite substantially. Melbourne reached the preliminary final two years after we left, and the grand final the year after that. I felt we did some of the ground work.”


Barassi then turned his signature determination to new business interests and media commitments, all of which thrived. However, football’s lure proved too strong, and in 1993, he returned to coaching as he took over the rock-bottom Sydney Swans.


His status as an AFL legend, savvy media ability and irrepressible coaching record made him uniquely qualified to carve out a space in the rugby heartland. In his three seasons in Sydney, he helped put both AFL football and the Sydney Swans on the map in the Harbour City.


Barassi now occupies himself with a wide variety of business, media and personal interests, which includes a prolific public-speaking career and an on-air role at Fox Footy. Unsurprisingly, he’s still on the speed dial of every major football organisation as his opinions and experience are highly valued and always in demand.


“My lifelong involvement in football continues,” he said. “I am passionate about the development and expansion of our great game, whether it be at junior, regional or international level.”


Footballers are often branded heroes or villains according to their team colours, but Ron Barassi is loved and respected by all. He has truly become the father of the modern game, and will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats.


Coaching career

He coached North Melbourne to their first premiership in 1975, and again in 1977. North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Kangaroos, is an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ...


He returned to Melbourne and coached the club through 1981-1985, and helped save the Sydney Swans from extinction while serving them as coach from Round 7, 1993 to 1995. Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about the year. ... Sydney Swans is an Australian Football League (AFL) club based in Sydney, New South Wales. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ...


Personal life

On 4 March 1957, Barassi married Nancy Kellett, who he had met at work four years earlier. They settled in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at Heathmont, and had three children: Susan (born 29 July 1960), Ron (born 23 June 1962) and Richard (born 13 February 1964). The couple separated in 1975, and Barassi married Cherryl Copeland in 1981.


Recent activities

Since retiring from football coaching, Barassi remains a prominent Australian rules football celebrity and a figure of popular culture.


In 1996, he became an inaugural inductee in the Australian Football Hall of Fame, one of few former greats to be bestowed the honour of the Legend category. The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1996, the Centenary year of the Australian Football League, to help recognise the contributions made to the sport of Australian rules football by players, umpires, media personalities, coaches and administrators. ...


He has also been involved in grassroots football development and has been an advocate for the development of the game internationally, particularly in South Africa. Reflecting this, Barassi has lent his name to the Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament. The Barassi Youth Tournament is an international Australian Rules Football tournament for junior players. ...


Barassi recently celebrated his 70th birthday, which received prominent media coverage, especially due to his trek of the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. Kokoda Track Conflict World War II, Pacific War Date July 1942 – January 1943 Place New Guinea Result Australian victory The Kokoda Track or Kokoda Trail campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign consisted of a series of battles fought from July 1942 to...


More recently, he was one of the last runners in the Queen's Baton Relay for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, being held in Melbourne, Australia between March 15 and March 26. His section of the relay, run on March 15, involved taking the Baton from a series of pontoons in the middle of the Yarra River onto shore. It was handed to him by David Neitz, captain of the Melbourne Football Club (the team with which Barassi is long associated with). This was accomplished by having Barassi walk on a pontoon that was submerged just beneath the surface of the water, giving the impression that Barassi was 'walking on water'. The Queens Baton Relay, similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. ... The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, Australia between March 15 and March 26, 2006. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... A pontoon boat, like this small pleasure boat, typically floats and balances by means of two pontoons oriented in the direction of travel. ... The Yarra River is a river in southern Victoria, Australia. ... David Neitz (born January 22, 1975) is an Australian rules footballer, and captain of the Melbourne Demons Football Club. ... Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ...


After the second week of the 2006 AFL Finals, with the four remaining teams all being non-Victorian, with Victorians reeling from their recent weakness, Barassi controversially called for an inquiry to unearth the reason Victoria was trailing in the AFL, despite the state giving birth to the national competition [1].


In late 2006, he became a Sport Australia Hall of Fame member[2].


Trivia

  • The lead singer of the Australian alternative rock band TISM uses the stage name Ron Hitler-Barassi. Barassi has mentioned his disapproval of his name being used by the band as his father died in battle during WWII.
  • Although his great-grandfather immigrated to Australia from Italy in 1854; Ron Barassi does not speak Italian.
  • Ron Barassi appeared in the Specky Magee books.
Preceded by
Ken Hands
Carlton Blues coach
1965-1971
Succeeded by
John Nicholls
Preceded by
Brian Dixon
North Melbourne Kangaroos coach
1973-1980
Succeeded by
Malcolm Blight
Preceded by
Carl Ditterich
Melbourne Demons coach
1981-1985
Succeeded by
John Northey
Preceded by
Gary Buckenara
Sydney Swans coach
1993-1995
Succeeded by
Rodney Eade


Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Alternative music redirects here. ... TISM (an acronym of This Is Serious Mum) is a seven piece anonymous alternative rock band from Melbourne, Australia. ... Simon Specky Magee is a fictional character in a series of five books by Felice Arena and Garry Lyon. ... Ken Hands (born October 26, 1926) is a former Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League. ... Carlton Football Club logo The Carlton Football Club, nicknamed The Blues for their dark blue playing colors, is one of the oldest, richest, and most successful Australian rules football clubs. ... John Nicholls (born August 13, 1939) is a former champion Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton Football Club in the 1960s and 1970s. ... Brian Dixon is a former Australian rules footballer and Victorian Politician. ... Kangaroos Football Club Logo The North Melbourne Football Club, trading as the Kangaroos Football Club, and informally known as the Shinboners or the Kangaroos plays Australian rules football in the Australian Football League. ... Malcolm Jack Blight AM (born 16 February 1950) is a former Australian rules football player who had a Hall of Fame career with the Woodville Football Club and the North Melbourne Football Club and coached the Adelaide Crows to two Premierships in 1997 & 1998. ... Carl Ditterich (born October 10, 1945) is a former Australian rules footballer in the VFL. Ditterich, known as the Blonde Bombshell, made a sensational best-on-ground debut against Melbourne in 1963 where he was said to have run around like a gazelle. ... Melbourne Football Club logo The Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons since 1933, known in their early days as The Redlegs, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League, based in Melbourne, Victoria. ... John Swooper Northey is a former Australian rules football player and coach. ... Gary Buckenara came from West Australia and after a court case began his career at Hawthorn. ... Sydney Swans is an Australian Football League (AFL) club based in Sydney, New South Wales. ... Rodney Rocket Eade (born April 4, 1958) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach. ...

1955/56/57/59/60 Melbourne Demons Premiership Players
Captain: Barassi | Adams | Beckwith | Dixon | Johnson | Mithen | Ridley | Williams | Coach: Smith


Frank Bluey Adams was an Australian rules football player and coach. ... John Beckwith (footballer) (Born 1934) was an Australian rules football player and coach. ... Brian Dixon (born 20 May 1936) is a former Australian rules footballer and Victorian Politician. ... Robert Johnson (born June 3, 1935) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Melbourne in the VFL during the 1950s. ... Laurie Mithen (born April 15, 1934) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne in the VFL during their successful period in the late 1950s under Norm Smith. ... Ian Ridley (born February 15, 1934) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne in the VFL. Ridley was a rover who was handy around goals and a 5 time premiership player with Melbourne. ... Don Williams (born November 3, 1935) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne during the 1950s and 60s. ... Norman Norm Smith (born November 21, 1915, died July 29, 1973) was a legendary Australian rules footballer and coach. ...

1975/77 North Melbourne Kangaroos Dual Premiership Players
Blight | Briedis | Cable | Cowton | Crosswell | Dench | Gumbleton | Henshaw | Schimmelbusch | Coach: Barassi

Malcolm Jack Blight AM (born 16 February 1950) is a former Australian rules football player who had a Hall of Fame career with the Woodville Football Club and the North Melbourne Football Club and coached the Adelaide Crows to two Premierships in 1997 & 1998. ... Arnold Briedis (born August 20, 1955) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for North Melbourne in the VFL during the 1970s. ... Barry Cable (born 22 September 1943) is a former Australian rules footballer in the (then) West Australian National Football League (WANFL) and Victorian Football League (VFL). ... Gary Cowton (born December 30, 1952) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for North Melbourne in the VFL as well as having stints with Footscray and South Melbourne. ... Brent Crosswell (born August 8, 1950) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton, Melbourne and North Melbourne in a 222 game VFL career. ... David Dench (born 23 August 1951) is a former Australian rules footballer in the (then) Victorian Football League. ... Frank Gumbleton (born March 6, 1951) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for North Melbourne in the VFL during the 1970s. ... Ross Henshaw (born August 13, 1952) is a former Australian rules footballer who played for North Melbourne in the VFL. Henshaw was a defender and played in either the back pocket or half back flank for North Melbourne. ... Wayne Schimmelbusch (born 19 January 1953) is a former Australian rules footballer in the (then) Victorian Football League (VFL). ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20426265-661,00.html
  2. ^ http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20560352-11088,00.html

External links

  • Interview - An interview conducted by George Negus for the ABC-TV programme George Negus Tonight
  • AFL legends page
  • Ron Barassi's Personal Website
  • Ron Barassi Profile on Full Points Footy

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ron Barassi: (3608 words)
RON BARASSI: Fortunately, I had a father who was good at football and he played in a premiership and when he was killed in the war my mother kept up her friendship with the club and she and I were welcome, me as a little kid.
RON BARASSI: Role models, I think, are particularly important today because there's such pressure on players from the media point of view that, to have someone to go to for advice, someone wise, and who's been through the whole thing, uh, is, uh...
RON BARASSI: Well, it might be a leveller, but, uh, I just appreciate these people as long as they're not on their case about themselves.
Blight's premiership reprieve - realfooty.com.au (823 words)
Barassi and Joseph remain the closest of friends, and Joseph, now a prominent player manager, is heading up a group of the great man's associates which is organising a tribute dinner at the Docklands in February to mark Barassi's 50th consecutive year of involvement in football.
How ironic that Barassi, the man who wanted North thrown out of the competition, and Joseph would become key figures together in the club's emergence in the mid-1970s; that they could be inducted into the Kangaroos' hall of fame on the same night, just a short time ago.
Ron Evans, the AFL Commission chairman, told of his first close encounter with Barassi in the 1960s when, as a 20-year-old, he won his first Big V guernsey.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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