Sport

Jets boss off

MOVING ON: Brad Wolens has resigned after six years with the Ipswich Jets.
MOVING ON: Brad Wolens has resigned after six years with the Ipswich Jets. Sarah Harvey

THE six-year reign of Brad Wolens as Ipswich Jets chief executive officer is over.

The official line from the club is that Wolens resigned.

But three reliable sources have informed the QT that Wolens was pushed into handing in his resignation, mainly because of his ongoing conflict with head coaches Ben and Shane Walker.

However, if Wolens was pressured into resigning it would have had to have been a decision made by the Jets board.

"Brad officially resigned for personal reasons," Jets chairman Steve Johnson said.

"It's a very demanding job being the CEO of a football club."

Johnson said the time was right for Wolens, having achieved some major recent milestones with the club.

"Brad had got the club over the line with the Broncos and oversaw the unification of the (Ipswich Rugby League) juniors and seniors, and the Jets," Johnson said. "It was his crowning achievement.

"I guess he thought it was time to go out on a high.

"It was quite remarkable what Brad achieved given the eternal conflict (between the Jets, Ipswich Rugby League and Ipswich Junior Rugby League)."

It took its toll in the end, apparently.

"It is a difficult job," Johnson said. "It's very emotionally draining. It means working 60 to 70 hours a week.

 

Brad had put his whole life into it. He could have stuck around until we won a premiership but chose to tender his resignation.

"Brad had put his whole life into it. He could have stuck around until we won a premiership but chose to tender his resignation."

 

Wolens sent out an email confirming hie resignation yesterday.

"Unfortunately my time at the Jets has come to a close and I am very disappointed to announce I will be moving on from a job I love and have given heart and soul to for the last six years," Wolens said.

It doesn't sound like the words of a man departing willingly having achieved his "crowning glory".

In Wolens' absence former State Member for Ipswich Wayne Wendt will fill the breach as temporary CEO while the club searches for a long-term replacement.

"Brad's resignation took us by surprise," Johnson said.

"We have to have a CEO under the QRL (Queensland Rugby League) charter.

"(Wendt) is excited about rugby league in Ipswich.

"His focus will be on securing sponsorship for the coming seasons.

"It is something he is very skilled at.

"He will also help us interviewing for a new CEO and making sure we find the right person.

"That's the hard part.

"Brad's strength was his knowledge of rugby league and Ipswich.

"He was instrumental in bridging the differences between rugby league bodies in Ipswich and managed to pull it together.

"We have to decide whether it is a rugby league person or a business person.

"It's a hard question to answer.

"Hopefully we get the right person for the job.

"One thing they will have to be is passionate about rugby league and Ipswich."

Achievements

  • Developed an alliance with Ipswich Junior and Senior Rugby Leagues;
  • Signed 3-year affiliation with the Brisbane Broncos, this included the IRL and IJRL;
  • Signed a new naming rights sponsor (soon to be released) to take over for the next three years;
  • Broke the club record for sponsorship income last season;
  • Oversaw the Jets climb to the 2008 Queensland Cup grand final and club championship.

Topics:  ben walker, brad wolens, ipswich jets, ipswich rugby league, shane walker, steve johnson, wayne wendt


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