(1940 - 1956)
The master coach
Jack Oatey is the football coach’s coach. For as long as the game is played, his deeds as a leader and mentor with Norwood and later West Adelaide and Sturt will be remembered. So it is timely to recall that Jack was also a skilful and courageous Norwood rover. He was club champion in his first season and again the next, when he was runner-up for the 1941 Magarey Medal.
He finished with four premierships and as many club champion awards. It was as a coach, though, that Jack extended the game’s boundaries, bringing an unerring eye for talent and an unflinching work ethic to the task of building strong teams that could sustain their success.
At the Parade, Jack’s methods, high on discipline and fitness, didn’t always suit those of his players who failed to share his vision. But it was at Norwood that Jack realised how far he had to take football to explore its potential, and his own. His influence is profound and his record unassailable, as both his AM for services to football and the AFL Hall of Fame recognise.
Perhaps Jack’s greatest legacy is the coaches he coached. Norwood is proud of its history with Jack Oatey, and of its association with all the Oatey family.
Games: 181 Goals: 233
Premierships: 1941, 1946, 1948, 1950
Premiership captain-coach: 1946, 1948, 1950
Captain-coach: 1945 - 52 Coach: 1953 - 56
Club champion: 1940 - 41, 1945, 1948
Further honours: Norwood Player Life Member, Norwood Team of the Century, Member of the Order of Australia, SANFL Life Member, AFL and SANFL Halls of Fame, Jack Oatey Medal for best player in the SANFL grand final, SA coach 1950, 1959, SA captain 1949-50, SA games 7.