Geelong will re-sign Chris Scott for another two seasons, meaning he will become the AFL club’s longest-serving coach.
The new deal will secure Scott through to the end of the 2024 season. While there was no comment from the club, the deal is expected to be announced next week.
There had been speculation about his tenure at the Cats following last month’s preliminary final thrashing from premiers Melbourne.
After Scott started his AFL senior coaching career by leading the Cats to the 2011 premiership, they have played in another nine finals series for only one grand final appearance.
While Scott is staying, he will oversee a new-look Geelong coaching panel.
Assistants Matthew Knights, Matthew Scarlett and Corey Enright have all left since the end of the season.
Three-time Geelong premiership player James Kelly is returning to the club as an assistant, while newly retired Indigenous great Eddie Betts will move to the Cats in a development coaching role.
Steve Hocking has started as Geelong’s new chief executive, while Craig Drummond also took over as president earlier this year.
Reg Hickey, who coached Geelong to three premierships, holds the club record of 304 games and Scott is on 261, one more than his predecessor Mark Thompson.
Speaking after the season-ending loss to Melbourne, Scott said concerns about the age of their playing list were “superficial”.
“I think that’s always going to be an observation … that when you get beaten, you look old and when you win, it’s because of your experience,” he said.
“I don’t think either are necessarily true.”
A few days after the Demons loss, Geelong veteran Isaac Smith was bullish about their prospects.
“Our best footy was as good as anyone’s in the comp, which is really disappointing and hard to come to terms with,” the 32-year-old told RSN.
“Whether we just didn’t time our run right or we had other things go against us we need to look at it and figure out what happened, because we still have the list that certainly can have a crack at it.
“We can’t be up there for the whole year and then just fall off the edge of a cliff, I wouldn’t have thought.”