Career Stats & Summary
- Full Name
- Brian Theo Smith
- Sunday, 14th March, 1954
- Current Age
- 59 years and 267 days
- Place Of Birth
- Maclean, New South Wales, Australia
Former Casino halfback's career was kept in check by his more illustrious namesake, Billy Smith, at St George in the mid-1970s before moving on to Souths. Brian Smith did not play in 1977-78, coaching instead with James Cook High and Newtown U’23s, before returning to Souths as a player in 1979. After three years as a lower grade coach with Souths (U’23s premiers in 1981), Smith was appointed first grade coach of Illawarra in 1984. He had very little to work with however, and the Steelers finished last in consecutive years (1985-86) before he departed in 1987. At Hull in England in 1988-89, Smith built the struggling club into a competitive force after snaring the services of players he had been associated with - Craig Coleman, David Moon, David Boyle, Jeff Hardy and most notably, former I’warra halfback Greg Mackey. Hull made the premiership final that year, losing to Widnes, but the club won the final under the direction of Noel Cleal after Smith returned to Australia to accept the position of St George coach in 1991. Within two seasons Smith had taken St George to the grand final against a champion Brisbane club but suffered the disappointment of a second successive defeat in the 1993 decider. Smith, who weathered the fall-out from the club's failure to make the semi-finals in 1994, left the Dragons for English club Bradford at the end of 1995. Returning to Sydney to coach P’matta in 1997, Smith took the Eels to the qualifying final in three successive years (1998-00) before his young charges captured the minor premiership in 2001 and qualified for the grand final – the Eels’ first appearance in a premiership decider since 1986. Although P’matta faltered at the last hurdle in a marvellous season (it was also Smith’s third grand final loss as coach), the articulate and headstrong P’matta coach appeared to have built a great foundation for future club success and signed an extended contract with the club. However, the Eels squandered this opportunity with their player retention policy and three lacklustre seasons resulted in Smith copping much of the backlash from sections of the media and some P’matta fans. After the Eels failed to make the grand final in 2005, after winning the minor premiership, Smith’s contract was not renewed past the 2006 season. After being replaced by Michael Hagan in early 2006 he signed on as Newcastle coach for 2007 (ironically, Hagan’s former club). Smith appeared to lose the respect of his players in 2006, and the support of club administrators, and he stood down as P’matta coach after almost ten years at the helm.
All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.
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Last modified: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:28:20 +1100 (Sydney time)