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Brian Cook - Leadership - A leading sports administrator and CEO of the CarlĀ ...

Travels From Victoria

Brian Cook

A leading sports administrator and CEO of the Carlton Football Club

Recognised as one of Australia’s leading sports administrators, Brian is known for his strong values-based leadership style and for overseeing the Geelong Cats’ rebirth.

He served as the CEO of the Geelong Football Club from 1999 until October 2021 and led the Cats from a near-bankrupt regional club to becoming one of Australia’s leading sports brands, enjoying unprecedented success both on and off the field.

In 2007, the Cats broke a 44-year premiership drought and won the Grand Final by a record margin. Further premierships followed in 2009 and 2011, and the club has continued to challenge for further success.

Under Brian’s leadership, the Cats have implemented a strong community outreach with ten flagship programs looking to improve the lives of young people. Before his arrival, the club was close to $10 million in liabilities. Since then, it has become one of the most stable sporting organisations in Australia. Brian has also led a four-stage redevelopment of the Cats’ home ground, GMHBA Stadium, resulting in $200 million in investment to turn the stadium and the club’s training facilities into the best in the country.

Before joining Geelong, Brian spent nine years at the helm of the West Coast Eagles, guiding them to premierships in 1992 and 1994. These marked the first times that a non-Victorian club had won the AFL Grand Final. The Eagles averaged an operating profit of $3 million per year and grew membership from 10,000 to 30,000 during this period.

In 1994, Brian received the Eunice Gill Award for his services to coaching at a national level. Former Prime Minister John Howard awarded him with the Australian Sports medal in 2001. In 2007, Brian was recognised as the Australian Sport’s Executive of The Year by the Confederation of Australian Sport.

In 2013, Brian completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and has a Master of Education from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Education from Deakin University. He was also appointed Adjunct Professor at Deakin University in 2017 in the Sports Management Program.

In October 2021, Brian was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Carlton Football Club. Cook is the longest serving CEO in the history of the league.

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