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Don Pyke named new Adelaide coach

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Don Pyke has been appointed Adelaide's senior coach for the next three years

ADELAIDE has appointed Don Pyke as its new senior coach for the next three years.

The West Coast premiership player was recommended by the Crows' sub-committee and confirmed on Thursday afternoon after a four-and-a-half hour interview this week.

The 46-year-old has worked under Adam Simpson at West Coast for the past two seasons and has long been tipped to win the post. 

He returns to Adelaide, where he was an assistant coach under Neil Craig in 2005-06.

"It's an honour, and thankyou to the board of the Adelaide footy club for choosing me in the role," Pyke said on Friday.  

"It's not often you find a senior coach changes hands when the side's made the finals, so we're in a really good position.

"We've got a solid playing group, we've got some good coaches, and it's exciting to see how we can improve."

Crows' new coach a straight-shooter

Pyke is the permanent replacement for Phil Walsh, who was tragically killed in July this year.

Assistant coach Scott Camporeale, who stepped in as interim coach and led the team to a sixth-placed finish, was not a candidate.

Pyke, who won two premierships with West Coast in 1992 and 1994, started his coaching career with WAFL club Claremont in 1999 until 2000.  

He then served as an Eagles director from 2001 to 2004.

After his two-year stint with the Crows under Craig, he worked in the oil and gas industry while employed as a coaching consultant to Fremantle and Claremont. 

Under Simpson at West Coast, he has specialised in strategy, stoppages and structures.

Don Pyke during his playing career at West Coast. Picture: AFL Media

The Crows' selection panel, which reported to chairman Rob Chapman, included football director Mark Ricciuto, head of football David Noble, development coach and mentor Alan Stewart, and CEO Andrew Fagan. 

Pyke was first approached by the Crows in mid-August but he chose to focus on his role at West Coast and was not formally interviewed for the position until this week.

He said he spoke to all coaches and members of the club's leadership group on Thursday night to introduce himself. 

He said his tenure would not be about "closing off" Walsh's legacy.  

"I'm very respectful of Phil and what he brought to the club," Pyke said.

"He came in during a period where there was change required and he started that change. 

"Unfortunately he wasn't able to see that through, but there's a lot of good things at this footy club and a lot of those things were started by Phil. 

"My challenge is to come in and work with the things that are good and try and identify the things we can still improve further." 

Crows CEO Andrew Fagan said the Crows were in a "unique situation that requires a unique set of skills and qualities".

"Don is a compelling fit for the role given his diverse range of experiences, ranging from a strong business background to premierships and best and fairest awards as a player," Fagan said.

"He has also previously coached his own team and everyone we contacted spoke highly of his football acumen.

"Don has been influential in West Coast’s rise this season and if you look at his history success follows him."

The Crows' selection panel, which reported to chairman Rob Chapman, included football director Mark Ricciuto, head of football David Noble, development coach and mentor Alan Stewart, and Fagan. 

Pyke played 132 games for the Eagles as a reliable and hard-running rover, winning the best and fairest in 1993 before injury forced him into premature retirement in 1996.