It’s official.

The Gold Coast SUNS can confirm Damien Hardwick has been appointed as the club’s AFL Senior Coach.

A triple Premiership-winning Senior Coach, Hardwick has signed a six-year deal to join the SUNS through until at least the end of 2029.

Gold Coast SUNS Chairman Bob East said the club was delighted to have a coach of Hardwick’s calibre at the helm to build upon the solid foundations already established.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Damien and his partner Alex to the Gold Coast SUNS,” East said.

“We have been unequivocal in our desire to deliver success for our football club, for our loyal and growing group of members and fans, and to the wider Gold Coast community. This appointment is clearly a significant step in that direction.

“When we began the process to determine our Senior Coach, it was quickly apparent Damien was the best candidate available, with Premiership experience and the proven elite coaching skillset required for the job.

“We have high expectations for our club and firmly believe Damien can deliver on these to elevate the Gold Coast SUNS to achieve Premiership success in the AFL competition.”

With six Premierships across his 31-year career as a player and coach in the AFL industry, Hardwick brings unparalleled experience to the Gold Coast SUNS.

Hardwick said he was hungrier than ever to start his tenure with the club.

“I firmly believe this is the beginning of an incredible journey with a club and a community that has a burning desire to succeed,” Hardwick said.

“The Gold Coast deserves a successful team it can be proud of, and it’s now my job to deliver that to our members, partners and wider community.

“I can see the tremendous potential we have in front of us, but understand it will take hard work from here to reach our goals.

“The foundations are in place for us to build this club into a contender for years to come and this is a challenge I am extremely excited to take on.”

Hardwick will commence official duties after Round 24 and will be involved in post-season activities following the final round of the season.

After a 207-game AFL career as a player which included Premierships with both Essendon and Port Adelaide, Hardwick joined the coaching team at Hawthorn from 2005-2009 which included the 2008 premiership.

He then progressed to Senior Coach with Richmond for 291 AFL matches across 14 seasons from 2010-2023, including premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020.