Western Bulldogs legend Rohan Smith will depart the Club at the end of the 2023 season, after more than two decades as a player and coach of the red, white and blue.

The 50-year-old has been an assistant coach since 2012 and was in charge of the defensive unit during the drought-breaking 2016 Bulldogs’ Premiership.

Smith’s coaching career follows a stellar playing history at VU Whitten Oval in which he played 300 games for the Bulldogs, claiming two All Australian jackets and elevated into the Club’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Bulldogs’ Executive Director of Football, Chris Grant, said Smith’s contribution to the Club has been profound over a sustained period.

“Rohan has been a stalwart of this Football Club for over 25 years and he will leave a lasting legacy as both a player and a coach,” Grant said.

“His knowledge, passion and dedication to the red, white and blue was an important element to the Club breaking its Premiership drought in 2016, with his playing days littered with accomplishments.

“Rohan’s 12 years of service as an assistant coach will always be valued by those players and staff he worked alongside.  We wish Rohan, Alison and their family all the best for the future.”

Smith thanked the Club and players for their belief and trust in him over the last 12 seasons.

“The Bulldogs will always be a part of my life and it has been an absolute privilege to serve as a player and coach for as long as I have,” he said.

“Winning the 2016 Premiership will remain the best day of my footballing life, and I will treasure the memories and relationships I’ve made alongside all the players and football staff across the past 12 years.  

“I’ve always approached coaching with an eagerness to get the best out of the players I’ve worked closely with, and I’m proud of the contribution I’ve made.

“I want to personally thank Bevo for his guidance and friendship over our coaching journey, he’s been an amazing mentor, leader and mate to me.

“Coaching is not an easy caper, and I understand it’s not forever.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family before I assess what’s next for me personally.

“In the meantime, the team has an important few weeks ahead of it leading into the final rounds of the season, and I’m keen to finish off my coaching journey as strongly as possible.”