Richmond Tigers coach Damien Hardwick separates from wife after ‘tough’ year in COVID bubble
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has separated from his wife Danielle after enduring a “tough” year away from Victoria in the AFL’s COVID bubble.
The Herald Sun reports the reason for their split remains unknown.
The pair have three children together, Ben, Isabella and Imogen.
While COVID restrictions were difficult for the family, Danielle Hardwick did spend a short amount of time in the Queensland bubble with her husband.
The three-time premiership coach hinted at difficulties when he announced would be needing a longer break this off-season after winning another AFL flag with Richmond.
He said it had been a “tough” 2020 season and a “full on” three-four years at the club.
“I’m going to take a bit of a longer break this year over summer,” Hardwick told 3AW in October.
“It’s been a pretty full on three-four years and we’ve done a hell of a lot of work and had a lot of success along the way but sometimes you need to step back.
“I’m very lucky that I’ve got some terrific assistants, and a couple of those guys will move on, but the coaching group and the people I have around me do a large amount of work and the reality is I sit at the top and manage those guys.”
Hardwick often referred to his wife as “Mrs Hardwick” throughout his coaching career and even credited her for the decision to play Marlion Pickett in the 2019 grand final win.
“I must admit, she was pushing Marlion harder than anyone,’’ Hardwick explained.
“She goes, ‘You’ve just got to play him he’s too good’. She was in the VFL coaches box watching me and she kept smiling at me looking at him as he was playing.
“She’s been a terrific supporter of mine and behind every man is a great woman and I’m very fortunate.”
The news comes soon after Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley confirmed he was separating from his wife Tania after 18 years of marriage.
“It has been a tough and challenging year for every family and for ours included,” the pair said in a statement.
“It is with the utmost love and respect for each other and a true commitment to our sons, that we have made a decision to separate in January.
“We remain dedicated parents and in the interests of our boys, we ask for our family to be given the privacy that is needed.
“We thank everyone in advance for understanding our request and for the unconditional love and support we have received throughout our marriage.”