OFFICIAL: Broncos tell Kevvie he's their man
IT's official. Kevin Walters has won the Brisbane Broncos coaching job.
After months of speculation, News Corp can reveal Broncos bosses have formally rubber-stamped Walters as Anthony Seibold's successor following a board meeting tonight.
The Broncos executive have discussed and ratified Walters' appointment with the Brisbane legend set to ink a $1 million, two-year contract for the 2021-22 seasons.
The deal is worth around $500,000 a season with the Broncos to consider a possible third year as part of contract negotiations which will continue tomorrow.
Former Cowboys coach Paul Green - the only other man interviewed by the Broncos board - will be informed tomorrow he has missed out.
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The Broncos are expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday.
Walters and Green were interviewed by the Broncos board last Thursday and while Green was excellent in his delivery, Brisbane hierarchy have opted for 'Kevvie'.
It is the beginning of a high-level Broncos masterplan, with Walters to be installed as head coach next year with a view to Craig Bellamy arriving at Red Hill as his coaching director in 2022.
Storm super coach Bellamy has been in talks with Broncos bosses for the past month. And while he has not signed a formal contract at this stage, Bellamy has told Melbourne chiefs he is ready to relocate to Queensland for family reasons in 2022.
The coronation of Walters to his dream job at the Broncos comes with a sense of poetic justice.
Two years ago, Walters had his heart broken when he was snubbed for the Broncos job in favour of Anthony Seibold, with Brisbane forced to deny the hiring process was set-up to give Seibold the job.
Now, after Seibold fell on his sword, having steered the Broncos to the wooden-spoon and a full-blown culture crisis, the same Brisbane board is turning to Walters to save the club.
If anyone understands the Broncos DNA, it is Walters.
The 52-year-old played 241 first-grade games for the Broncos and featured in five of the club's six premierships, including their inaugural title in 1992.
Walters later served twice as an assistant coach at the Broncos, working as a right-hand man to Wayne Bennett in 2015, when Brisbane fell agonisingly short to Green's Cowboys, 17-16, in a grand-final epic.
Walters is highly respected by Broncos players and was the assistant coach who worked closely with star pivot Anthony Milford when he almost won the Clive Churchill Medal in the 2015 decider.
Speaking to News Corp last week, Bellamy insisted Walters was the ideal candidate to succeed Seibold and lead a Red Hill revolution.
"I probably shouldn't say this, but just watching the Broncos this year, perhaps they need a bit of a history lesson in what made that club great and why it was great and Kevvie would be ideal to do that," Bellamy said.
"Kevvie was one of my assistants for a couple of years. He did a good job with us."
Queensland pivot Cameron Munster has worked with Walters for the past three years at Origin level and has no doubt he can succeed at the Broncos.
"Kevvie is coaching one of the best sides in rugby league with the Queensland Origin team," Munster said.
"We have always worn the Queensland jersey with pride and 'Kevvie' has always talked about that, the players that have come before us.
"He has spoken about how the Broncos have lost that, they have lost their BBQs, their old boys don't go to the club anymore, it shows where the club is at.
"No disrespect to them, but you have to remember the guys who played before you and why the jersey is so proud.
"That's something the Broncos need to bring back in that jersey and that's why people like Kevvie are needed back at the club.
"Being a Queenslander, it's been really sad to see where the Broncos are at. They have a lot more to give than what they are showing.
"Kevvie knows success and wants success and I feel they need him."
Broncos legend Steve Renouf said Walters will bring harmony to a Brisbane club on its knees following their first-ever wooden spoon finish.
"It is Kevin Walters's time to coach Brisbane," he said. With the club about to make a vital decision which will affect its future for years, the board must make the call they should have made two years ago.
"As a man manager he will get the best out of this young Broncos team and give the players self-belief.
"He also has that technical knowledge and understands successful systems, knowledge he got first hand when he was at the Storm.
"Kevin knew as a player what to do and at the right time. That can be taught and he was one of the best with his decision making.
"Walters wants what is best for the Broncos and he loves the club.
"He will bring the players together and they will be happy. As a club legend and Broncos five-time premiership winner he will get their respect straight up."