PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has been rewarded for inspiring his side's remarkable rise to the minor premiership this season, taking out the 2020 Monjon Allan Jeans Senior Coach of the Year award on Tuesday night.

Hinkley, who entered the season under significant pressure after the Power finished 10th last year, was handed the top gong ahead of Brisbane's Chris Fagan and Geelong's Chris Scott.

It followed a much-improved campaign for his Port Adelaide side, which finished with a 14-3 record to become just the third team in the AFL era sit on top of the ladder after every single round.

The Power then qualified for the preliminary final, before suffering a heartbreaking six-point loss to the Tigers last Friday night as the club's season was brought to a sudden and unfortunate end.

The victory marked the second time Hinkley has been honoured by the AFL Coaches' Association as the Senior Coach of the Year, having also won the award in 2013 after guiding Port Adelaide to the semi-finals.

"I’m very humbled to be voted the AFL Coaches' Association Senior Coach of the Year," Hinkley said.

"There were any number of coaches who could have justifiably been awarded this honour for 2020.

"I am very grateful, especially when you look at all the great coaches who have received this award in years gone by. Ultimately, though, this award is a team effort and a reflection upon an entire group at Port Adelaide.

"This wouldn’t be possible without an outstanding playing group led by Tom Jonas and the countless hours of support from my assistant coaches, list management team and GM of Football Chris Davies.

"A massive thank you to all our members who have stood by the club and supported us through so much adversity in 2020. Your support of me, the playing group and the entire club has been amazing.

"And, of course, without the incredible support of my family I wouldn’t be in the position to pursue my passion for coaching. I’m just very fortunate that I have so many great people around me."

Ken Hinkley after the loss to Richmond. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs assistant Daniel Giansiracusa claimed the Assistant Coach of the Year award for the first time, having adjusted to a new role after the VFL season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giansiracusa, who has been an assistant at the Dogs since retiring as a player at the end of the 2014 season, won the award ahead of Geelong's Nigel Lappin and Carlton's Luke Power.

A 265-game player with the Bulldogs, Giansiracusa was set to lead the club's VFL side in 2020, but instead coached the team's match simulation games and worked as an opposition analyst throughout the season.

Highly respected former player, coach and football operations manager Neil Balme was also recognised for a 50-year career in football, winning the Neale Daniher Lifetime Achievement award.

Balme represented Richmond for 159 games as a player, spent 39 games as coach of Melbourne and has worked in different football operations roles with Collingwood, Geelong and Richmond since 1998.

He also enjoyed playing stints in the WAFL with Subiaco and coaching stints in the SANFL with both Norwood and Woodville-West Torrens.

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SENIOR COACH OF THE YEAR

236 votes: Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide)
191 votes: Chris Fagan (Brisbane)
154 votes: Chris Scott (Geelong)

ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR

1. Daniel Giansiracusa (Western Bulldogs)
2. Nigel Lappin (Geelong)
3. Luke Power (Carlton)

PAST WINNERS

2019 - Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions)
2018 - Nathan Buckley (Collingwood)
2017 - Damien Hardwick (Richmond)
2016 - Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
2015 - Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
2014 - John Longmire (Sydney Swans)
2013 - Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide)
2012 - John Longmire (Sydney Swans)
2011 - John Worsford (West Coast Eagles)
2010 - Michael Malthouse (Collingwood)
2009 - Ross Lyon (St Kilda)
2008 - Mark Thompson (Geelong Cats)
2007 - Mark Thompson (Geelong Cats)
2006 - John Worsfold (West Coast Eagles)
2005 - Neil Craig (Adelaide Crows)
2004 - Mark Williams (Port Adelaide)
2003 - Paul Roos (Sydney Swans)