FILE: Don Pyke Steps Down As Coach Of The Adelaide Crows AFL Team
FILE: Don Pyke Steps Down As Coach Of The Adelaide Crows AFL Team

Tex’s emotional tribute to departed Pyke

Adelaide forward Taylor Walker has revealed he was driven to tears after learning of Don Pyke's resignation as coach.

Pyke stepped down as Crows mentor last Thursday after failing to guide the club to the finals for the second straight season.

Walker said he was saddened by the news, which Pyke broke to him in an emotional phone call last week.

But the 189-game star paid tribute to the departing leader, who he served as captain during his four years at the helm.

 

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Don Pyke resigned as Adelaide coach after failing to lead the Crows to the finals for the second straight season. Picture: AAP/Emma Brasier
Don Pyke resigned as Adelaide coach after failing to lead the Crows to the finals for the second straight season. Picture: AAP/Emma Brasier

"The day it happened he gave all the leaders a call," Walker told Triple M on Tuesday morning.

"He rang me … and said 'I've got a bit of new to tell you' and then he broke down.

"I had a tear in my eye … and I found it very sad.

"He's one of those coaches that never wanted fame, he never wanted to do it for the money, he was always here to help us get better as footballers.

"What I really liked about him (was) he cared about you as a bloke and he wanted you to become a better person.

"I love him.

"It's sad that he's got to move on and he's decided that he can't help us going forward because he is a great fella."

Former Adelaide captain Taylor Walker has expressed his sadness at Don Pyke’s decision to step down as Crows coach. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
Former Adelaide captain Taylor Walker has expressed his sadness at Don Pyke’s decision to step down as Crows coach. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour

Pyke recorded the best winning percentage (60.75) of any Crows coach during his 93 matches in charge and led the club to the 2017 grand final.

But Adelaide won just two of its last nine matches of this season to finish two victories adrift of the top eight.

Walker, who also relinquished his role as co-captain earlier this month, stopped short of outlining the qualities required of Pyke's successor.

"We're obviously going to get a panel together and they're going to have to go through the process of picking the best coach available," Walker said.

"I'd be silly to say we need this kind of coach because if we didn't get this kind of coach, we'd be playing this (comment) forever (on radio).

"I'm not going to sit here and say we need this kind of coach, but let's go and get the best one available."

Meanwhile, Crows board member and Triple M breakfast co-host Mark Ricciuto denied he had met with former Fremantle mentor Ross Lyon to discuss the vacant coaching position.

Ricciuto said rumours Hawthorn assistant Scott Burns was on the verge of replacing Pyke were also incorrect given Adelaide was yet to finalise its coach selection panel.