Jeff Vaughan leaves Australia assistant post to coach Tasmania

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Jeff Vaughan leaves Australia assistant post to coach Tasmania
© Getty Images Adam Griffith and Jeff Vaughan celebrate a win for the Hobart Hurricanes © Getty Images

Jeff Vaughan has departed his role as Australia assistant coach to become the new full-time head coach of Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup competitions.

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The news comes just a day after Cricket Australia formally announced Andrew McDonald as the new Australia men’s head coach. Vaughan had been appointed as an Australia assistant coach under Justin Langer late last year ahead of the T20 World Cup. His main brief was to be in charge of the fielding unit and was part of Australia’s successful T20 World Cup, Ashes and Pakistan Test campaigns.

Cricket Tasmania announced on Thursday that Vaughan, a former South Australia batter, would be returning to Tasmania to coach the men’s program. The move means McDonald has at least a couple of appointments to make in terms of his assistants, with the bowling and fielding coaching roles becoming vacant. Although the roles and the structure may look different under McDonald as he wants to spread the workload more evenly to avoid coach burnout.

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Vaughan made his name as a coach under Adam Griffith firstly as a batting coach where he played a significant part in getting Matthew Wade back into Australia’s Test side in 2019 as well as the development of Ben McDermott across all three formats.

Cricket Tasmania then restructured their men’s coaching set-up under Griffith in 2019 with Vaughan taking charge of the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup teams while Griffith remained as director of coaching and head coach of the Hobart Hurricanes.

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After Vaughan’s departure to Australia’s setup in September 2020, Ali de Winter stepped in as interim head coach with Greg Shipperd coming in as a short-term consultant coach.

Griffith resigned from his dual roles at Cricket Tasmania and the Hurricanes at the end of the BBL season. Vaughan will now take the reins full-time as Tasmania’s coach from May while the search continues for the new Hurricanes coach.

“I feel very fortunate with how everything has worked out,” Vaughan said. “I have been connected to the program throughout and am confident that I have continued to develop my coaching and leadership skill set to assist the development of the Tigers’ program holistically and for the players as individuals.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Cricket Australia for the opportunity, and to Cricket Tasmania for being so open-minded about my return, so I really can’t wait to just get stuck in and am looking forward to maintaining the direction of the program for an extended period of time.”

Cricket Tasmania CEO Dominic Baker was delighted to have secured Vaughan after revealing that a previously chosen candidate had pulled out of the role after being offered it in December 2021.

“We’re thrilled to have Jeff returning to the helm of our male Tigers program,” Baker said. “We clearly want the best available candidate for the role who also understands and fits with the culture of our organisation, and there’s no doubt that Jeff ticks both those boxes.

“We’ve all watched the progress of the Australian men’s program over the summer, and there’s nothing more to be said about it other than it was a sparkling success, and Jeff was a part of that.

“Ali has done a fantastic job under really difficult and often uncertain circumstances this year, but the fact that the transition from Jeff to Ali was so smooth was due to the fact that Jeff has such a solid vision in place that everyone was on board with.

“We did have a candidate nearly ready to go back in December that unfortunately fell through, however, the timing of everything has been quite serendipitous, as with Jeff obviously knowing the program and the players so well, the transition now should be seamless.”

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