Brian McDermott named as UK Sports Coach of the Year

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has been named as UK Coach of the Year at the prestigious 2015 UK Coaching Awards, held in Manchester.

McDermott’s Rhinos captured an historic domestic treble of trophies in 2015, winning the League Leaders Shield, The Challenge Cup and the Super League title.

Typically, McDermott attributed the credit for his success to the team who work alongside him.

“Whenever one person gets recognised for coaching there are so many more people that are part of it,” said McDermott.

“The whole club here has a part to play in it so personally I am unbelievably proud but I am proud for the whole club because it is a club achievement.

“It was massive to see everything come together and it was a combination of a few emotions.  To pick up all three trophies is still sinking in but I think the emotion at the end was relief.

“Once we got the first and second to go into the Grand Final and be so close, had we lost it would have been a crying shame.

“We had some significant people leaving the club so we wanted to send them out on a high so my initial though after the game was relief.

“Everything needed balancing, there was some pressure coming to the back end and there was almost an anxiety because it would hurt not to do it.”

McDermott acknowledged that the 50-0 Challenge Cup final win over Hull KR gave him an intimation that his team could achieve historic feats.

“When we won the Challenge Cup we thought we had the chance to do something special,” he added.

“I think all teams want to win trophies and I think a few clubs will say they have a chance of winning all three but it’s a hard thing to do.

“There are so many things that have to be put in place first and so many things that have to go your way. Managing all that and the expectations is tough and there is a job in itself there.

“Without a doubt it’s the number one achievement for me, it’s different from my fondest memories.

“But this is the industry I am in and this is what I do for a living and is ranked number one and will be for a long time.

“It was great to send people off on a high. There was a point where were asking wouldn’t it be nice to do that.
“We had three players leaving and initially I was distancing myself from that because I wanted to focus on getting the win and doing it for ourselves.

“But as the season got closer to the end and we got closer to the trophies I thought that’s what got us over the line.

“We had some really tight games towards the end so it was a big thing for us and a big thing for those three players.

“There’s a philosophy at the club where most people put their personal lives on hold and put their social lives on hold to get the job done.

“I’m a very fortunate coach because the environment I get to come and work in is provided for by a lot of other people.

“While players and staff get recognised it’s the whole club that provides an environment to succeed.

“With the profile the club has got there are certain expectations but in terms of our ability to train at a high level, operate at a high level and be the best we can be, this is where the club succeeds.

“What I used to believe in 2002 has changed and what you coach changes because the game changes.

“How you coach though only changes slightly, the nuts and bolts of it stay the same.

“Staying motivated is easy because while it was a tough season it was also unbelievably enjoyable as well.

“I think to finish like we did is a huge carrot and I don’t think there’s an element of thinking we need time off.

“There’s a genuine element of people wanting more and wanting to experience that again.

“We don’t get bored of it and the players don’t either. I don’t think any team will do the treble again but the desire is still there.”

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