Hardwick equals Hafey's Tigers record

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick is "embarrassed" to be talked about in the same breath as Tom Hafey.

Damien Hardwick feels "embarrassed" to be equalling the legendary Tom Hafey for most VFL/AFL games coached at Richmond.

Saturday's final home-and-away round game of the season against Adelaide will be Hardwick's 248th in charge, drawing level with the Tigers' most successful coach.

Under the late Hafey, who died in 2014, Richmond emerged as a genuine powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s by winning four premierships.

But after Hafey, who had a win-rate of 70 per cent, the Tigers went through 14 coaches before settling on Hardwick before the 2010 season.

Unlike Hafey, who brought instant success to Punt Rd after his appointment in 1966, Hardwick experienced many difficult seasons before the Tigers broke through in 2017 for their first flag in 37 years.

Hardwick won just 24 of his first 66 games as coach while Richmond lost three-straight elimination finals between 2013 and 2015.

A hard man as a player for Essendon and Port Adelaide, Hardwick has lauded Richmond's culture, led by chief executive Brendon Gale and president Peggy O'Neal, for helping him coach the club for 11 seasons.

"It's quite humbling," Hardwick said.

"My name will probably be linked to him (Hafey) individually, but as a collective it's probably a great thing for our organisation.

"To sit there and be talked about in the same sentence as Tommy Hafey is quite embarrassing in a way.

"You look at Tommy and he's won four flags and an incredible ambassador of not only our football club but the AFL."

Hardwick has already received some well wishes from Hafey's wife Maureen, who handed over the premiership cup to the coach and Richmond captain Trent Cotchin after their 89-point demolition of Greater Western Sydney in last year's grand final.

DAMIEN HARDWICK

Age: 48

Games coached: 247

Win-loss record: 141-3-103

Coaching debut: Round one, 2010 v Carlton

Premierships: 2017, 2019

Games playing career: Essendon (153), Port Adelaide (54)

TOM HAFEY

Games coached at Richmond: 248

Win-loss record: 173-2-73

Premierships: 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974

Games coached at other clubs: Collingwood (138), Geelong (66), Sydney (70)

Australian Associated Press