Manly junior had a great season at fullback while deputising for the injured Matthew Ridge in 1993. Cleary's standout performances earned him a contract with Norths but after being injured in the early part of the season, he made his comeback in the centres because of the good form of rookie Matt Seers. Cleary showed both his class and adaptability during the Bears' charge to the preliminary final in 1994 but coveted a full-back/goal-kicker’s role and announced his intention to play for Easts after the 1995 season.
- Ivan Cleary
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- 89 kg
- Current Status:
- Coaching the Penrith Panthers
- Status Link:
- Warriors Debut (Date and Match Details):
- 12th March 2006 vs Melbourne Storm
- Signed From:
- Sydney Roosters
- Wikipedia Page:
- Winning %:
In 1998 he surpassed Mick Cronin’s long-standing premiership record when he scored 284pts for the season (since surpassed by the Bulldogs’ Hazem El Masri. In 1999, he suffered a dislocated hip in a pre-season trial against Norths but left the Roosters at the end of the year to link with the Warriors. Cleary retired at the end of 2002 following the Warriors’ grand final loss (a season in which Cleary scored a club record 242pts) to take on an assistant coach’s role with Roosters.
Cleary returned to the Warriors as an assistant coach to Tony Camp the following year and took over as Warriors coach in 2006 – the year the club was docked four competition points for salary cap breaches before the season even started. Cleary got the gig as part of a condition on his contract that stated that he would get a shot at the top job should the head coach be stood down. He would show great loyalty to players he believed in most notably when he refused to drop Manu Vatuvei after his horror game of dropsies against the Eels in 2007. Mid season 2011 Cleary announced he would had signed a 3 year contract with the Penrith Panthers. He wanted to stay with the Warriors but wasnt given the 3 year contract he asked for. Instead he was only offered 2 years by Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah.
He would coach the Warriors for 6 years and 137 games including the 2011 Grand Final.
Cleary was succeeded by Brian McClennan.
- 1992–93 Manly-Warringah
- 1994–95 North Sydney
- 1996–99 Sydney Roosters
- 1998 Record for most points scored in a season
- 2000–02 NZ Warriors
- 2002 NRL Minor Premiers
- 2006–11 Head Coach for NZ Warriors
- 2012–15 Head Coach for Penrith Panthers
- 2014 Dally M Coach of the Year