Senior Coach: Damien Hardwick
Senior Coach Damien Hardwick joined the SUNS at the end of 2023 and boasts an esteemed record as both a coach and player. He played 207 games at Essendon and Port Adelaide, winning a Best and Fairest and the 2000 flag with the Bombers before also tasting premiership success with the Power in 2004. He transitioned into the coaching space in 2005, firstly as an Assistant at Hawthorn and was appointed to the Richmond Senior Coach position in August 2009. Hardwick led the Tigers across 14 AFL seasons during which time he led Richmond to eight finals series including premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020 and was named AFLCA Coach of the Year in 2017. Hardwick also coached Victoria in the one-off State of Origin match in 2020.
Shaun Grigg: Assistant Coach
Shaun Grigg joined the SUNS as an assistant coach at the end of 2023 after spending four years with Geelong as both a Development Coach (2019-21) and Assistant Coach (2021-23), helping the Cats to claim the 2022 Premiership in that time. As a player, Grigg tallied 214 games with both Carlton and Richmond. He played nine seasons under Damien Hardwick at Richmond, including the Tigers’ 2017 Premiership. Grigg currently hold the role of Assistant Coach at the SUNS, focussing on the club’s midfield group.
Josh Drummond: Assistant Coach
Josh Drummond has been with the SUNS since the 2019 season, serving in the various roles of Assistant Coach, Defence and Tackling Coach and VFL Head Coach where he guided the club to its first VFL Premiership in 2023. Following a 94-game career at the Brisbane Lions, Drummond joined former teammate Brad Scott at North Melbourne where he coached for six seasons in a variety of roles. He initially joined the Kangaroos as a Development Coach before moving into an Assistant Coach role where at different times, he oversaw both the defensive and midfield groups.
Brad Miller: Assistant Coach - Forward
Brad Miller joined the SUNS ahead of the 2022 season after most recently working as the Director of Coaching at Sydney University. Prior to that, he spent six years at the GWS Giants, overseeing the club's exciting forward line and forming part of the coaching structure which took the Giants to its first AFL Grand Final in 2019. Miller began his stint at GWS as NEAFL coach, leading the Giants to its first NEAFL Premiership. Miller has also spent time at the Melbourne Football Club as a development coach for two seasons before joining the Giants. Originally calling Brisbane home, Miller had a 157-game career with Melbourne and Richmond spanning 11 years from 2002-12 after being drafted from the Mt Gravatt Football Club. Miller’s role as Assistant Coach sees him work closely with the SUNS’ forward-line players.
Nick Malceski: Development Coach
Nick Malceski returned to the SUNS at the end of 2023 after stints with the club as both a player and coach previously. Malceski was on the coaching panel from 2017-2020 as both a Development Coach and the club’s NEAFL Coach. As a player Malceski reached 210 games, with 176 for the Sydney Swans - including the 2012 Premiership, and 34 games in two seasons for the SUNS at the end of his career. In 2020 Malceski took on a new opportunity as Head Coach of the Labrador Tigers in the QAFL, taking the club to back-to-back finals appearances in 2021 and 2022. He was named the AFLQ Senior Coach of the Year in 2021. Malceski currently occupies the role of Development Coach, working closely with the younger players and the VFL squad on game days.
Tate Kaesler: Development Coach
Tate Kaesler came to the SUNS prior to the 2019 AFL season after serving ten years at the Adelaide Crows. In his time at the club Kaesler has worked as a Development Coach, Assistant Coach and Reserves Coach. Having played for SANFL clubs North Adelaide and Sturt, Kaesler retired in 2007 and immediately served as an assistant coach for the Under 20 South Australian State Team before joining the Crows in a development role the year after. In his time at the Crows, Kaesler held roles in recruiting, development and team defence.
Rhyce Shaw: Director of Coaching - Academy
Rhyce Shaw joined the club prior to the 2021 AFL season as the Head of Development after stints at both North Melbourne and the Sydney Swans. Following three seasons an Assistant Coach at the Swans, including being named as NEAFL Coach of the Year in 2018, Shaw was appointed an Assistant Coach at North Melbourne in 2018, before rising to interim Head Coach in 2019. Shaw was appointed North Melbourne’s Senior Coach for the 2020 Season. Shaw's venture into coaching comes following a 237-game career at Sydney and Collingwood which included three Grand Finals and a premiership in 2012. At the end of 2023, Shaw was promoted to the position of Director of Coaching – Academy, where he will oversee the development of coaches coming through the SUNS Academy regions.