THE PENRITH Panthers have named Anthony Griffin as their NRL coach on a three-year deal from the 2016 season.
Former Brisbane coach Griffin takes over from Ivan Cleary who was sensationally dumped as head coach by Panthers big wig Phil Gould on Monday despite having a year left on his contract.
The former State of Origin mentor said he believed Cleary needed a break from coaching.
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Griffin spent four years at Red Hill and was moved aside ahead of the 2015 season to make way for returning supercoach Wayne Bennett.
Gould confirmed Griffin’s appointment at Pepper Stadium this morning.
“Anthony Griffin was our first choice to be head coach at the Panthers for the next three seasons,” Mr Gould said.
“Understand that we did not advertise this position. We did not accept applications and we interviewed no other candidate. We are delighted he has accepted our invitation to be the new head coach at our club.
“Anthony’s experience, in particular his background in developing elite junior talent through to NRL level, made him the perfect fit for this club. We are certain he is the man to take advantage of the tremendous foundations established by our previous head coach Ivan Cleary.
“Anthony’s previous club the Brisbane Broncos have long been considered the benchmark of professional rugby league worldwide. The references we received from the Broncos organisation regarding Anthony’s character, work ethic, knowledge and love for the game were nothing short of impeccable. This merely confirmed in our own minds that Anthony is a valuable acquisition for Panthers.”