Penguin Ireland will publish New Zealand rugby union coach Joe Schmidt’s memoir later this month.
Ordinary Joe will be published on 21st November, with Schmidt doing public events in Dublin, Limerick and Belfast next month. Michael McLoughlin, publisher at Penguin Ireland, bought world rights from Ciarán Medlar in BDO Dublin.
Schmidt took over as head coach at Leinster in Ireland in 2010 after having never been in charge of a professional team before. “After Leinster lost three of their first four games, a prominent Irish rugby pundit speculated that Schmidt had ‘lost the dressing room’,” Penguin Ireland said. “Nine years on, Joe Schmidt has stepped down as Ireland coach having achieved success on a scale never before seen in Irish rugby. Two Heineken Cups in three seasons with Leinster. Three Six Nations championships in six seasons with Ireland, including the Grand Slam in 2018. And a host of firsts: the first Irish victory in South Africa; the first Irish defeat of the All Blacks, and then a second; and Ireland’s first number 1 world ranking. Along the way, Schmidt became a byword for precision and focus in coaching, remarkable attention to detail and the highest of standards.”
McLoughlin said: “It is a real honour to publish Joe Schmidt’s book. We are particularly pleased that Joe has written it himself over the past couple of years. We think it gives real insight into the man behind the public image. Joe Schmidt has done more for Irish rugby than any other single coach and it is a legacy that will prevail.”
Schmidt added: “I was hesitant about putting my memories and thoughts into words but was encouraged to do so by a number of people close to me. I’m an accidental coach and feel incredibly lucky to have worked alongside great people and to have had the opportunities that I’ve had. Coaching in New Zealand, France and Ireland has been both challenging and rewarding, but the support from everyone and particularly the fans has been phenomenal. It is something I really appreciate.”