HAWTHORN football director Chris Fagan's respect for Brendon Bolton was evident when he was asked about the Hawks' young assistant coach after the 2013 premiership.

"He's just been a bloke who has worked his backside off to get where he is and he is really well respected amongst the playing group, really well prepared, good people skills, great teacher," Fagan told AFL.com.au.

Fagan first met Bolton, 35, when he coached him in the Tassie Mariners in 1996 and 1997.

He became a good Tasmanian footballer as he developed his career as a physical education teacher at Rosetta High School.

He won a premiership as a playing coach at North Hobart and then coached the Tassie Devils VFL team and Clarence before hamstring problems ended his playing career before he turned 30.

He spent a week at Hawthorn to gain an insight into how an AFL club operates and made a mark.

"He really impressed Clarko (Alastair Clarkson) and we contacted him when the Box Hill coaching job came up," Fagan said.

Bolton was appointed coach of the Box Hill Hawks and led the club into consecutive finals series in 2009 and 2010 before Hawthorn made him the midfield coach.

Upon his promotion Box Hill president John Ure paid tribute to him, saying his strength was to "create a positive environment so that the AFL-listed players actually enjoyed playing at Box Hill."

He's been part of a coaching group that has taken the Hawks from third to second to premiers in consecutive years, one of just three times that has happened in the AFL.

He declined an interview with St Kilda after that club approached him in its search for a coach to replace Scott Watters.