Michelle Cowan has been a pioneer in the male-dominated world of Australian rules football.
Cowan began her career in football as a WA-based scout and match analyst for Geelong in 2000. She took the brave step into an assistant coaching role with WAFL men’s senior and reserves teams at West Perth in 2004. Cowan continued her development and progressed to a senior coaching role with the WA youth girls football team.
She rose to prominence in 2013, named AFL Football Woman of the Year while she was an assistant coach of WAFL senior and reserves teams at South Fremantle but was also the head coach of Melbourne’s women’s team for the AFL Women’s exhibition matches. Cowan continued in that role before she was named Fremantle’s inaugural AFLW coach in 2016.
She led the Dockers through their first two seasons of the fledgling competition as one of only two female head coaches in the league. Cowan opted not to seek an extension at Fremantle and will serve as an assistant for the inaugural West Coast Eagles AFLW team in 2020. Cowan is a Level 3 High Performance AFL Coach. She also ran her own national training company all while being a devoted wife and mother.