Coaching careerMcKenzie started as coach as an assistant to Rod Macqueen and Eddie Jones in the Wallaby setup between 2000 and 2003. He enjoyed coaching success at this level; twice in the Tri-Nations, against the British Lions and with the Bledisloe Cup. He also was the Assistant Coach in the 2003 RWC where Australia lost the final in extra time.
He succeeded Bob Dwyer as Head Coach of the Waratahs in November, 2003. He led the team to the 2005 Super 12 final in just his second year at the helm, and to the semi-final in 2006 and final again in 2008. He is currently the Waratahs’ longest serving coach in history. He was also involved as a Coaching Coordinator with the ACT Brumbies for three seasons, including a Super 12 semi-final and was also Australia A coach in 2005. Before joining the Reds, Ewen was the Head Coach of French club Stade Francais, taking them to a semi-final in the Top 14 in 2009.
He was subsequently appointed coach to the Paris club Stade Français,taking them to a semi-final in the Top 14 in 2009.
In 2007 McKenzie also coached the Wallabies in Paris against France, in a trial match before the World Cup 2007.
On Friday 9 October 2009 it was announced that McKenzie would be taking over the coaching job of the Queensland Reds in the Super 14. He became the club's seventh coach in 11 years.
McKenzie successfully transformed the Reds into the powerhouse Rugby province of Australia with the team’s second straight conference title in 2012 coming only a year after guiding the team to their maiden Super Rugby championship in 2011. In his first three years at the helm, Ewen contributed to the Reds winning every major piece of available silverware with the only trophy to elude the team during his opening two campaigns – the Rod Macqueen Cup – making its way to Queensland for the first time in 2012. Two successive victories over the Brumbies were the catalyst behind the Reds’ 2012 success as they again dominated their Australian rivals by winning seven of their eight matches against national opposition. Among other firsts, the Reds also claimed their maiden win at Eden Park.
Ewen first steered the team to fifth place and their highest finish since 2002 during his inaugural season in 2010. That success continued into 2011 when the Reds triumphed to win their first Super Rugby Championship in the professional Rugby era, coming after the Reds finished the regular season on top of the competition ladder with 13 victories and just three losses. Having devised a brand of Rugby that receives international acclaim, Ewen then guided the Reds to victory over the Blues in the semi-final and Crusaders in the final to score their first title since 1995.
The Reds had had several poor seasons and had not won back to back matches for several seasons but were transformed under McKenzie, playing an entertaining, expansive style which led them to a 5th place finish in 2010, narrowly missing out on playoff qualification, before making and then winning the Super Rugby Grand Final in 2011.
By 2012, commentaries on McKenzie's coaching had become a regular part of the Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald. In February Greg Growden outlined McKenzie's plan to "select a faster, more mobile forward pack" for the Super Rugby season opener against the Waratahs in Sydney.
McKenzie, in his own SMH column, shared his coaching insights. In April, first he discussed the challenges incorporating a new player into an unfamiliar playing environment. A week later he explained, "The decision [by Queensland Rugby] to recruit Richard Graham [from the Western Force] was a proactive one made ... to ensure we can sustain ongoing success both with the Reds and in the community game." Later he reported being asked about the strengths of the Australian conference relative to the South African and New Zealand conferences. In response he said: "I have found this year's competition to be one of the tightest in memory and this is more of a reflection on the strength of play from all teams as opposed to any perceived weaknesses." In May, he reflected on the coaches' challenges of negotiating player contracts.
Director of Coaching – Queensland Reds 2013
Head Coach – Queensland Reds 2010-12
Head Coach – Stade Francais 2009
Head Coach – Australia A 2005
Head Coach – Waratahs 2003-2008
Assistant Coach/Coaching Coordinator – Wallabies 2000-03
Coaching Coordinator – ACT Brumbies 1998-2000
Super Rugby Australian Conference Winners – 2011-12 (Queensland Reds)
Super Rugby Championship – 2011 (Queensland Reds)
France Top 14 Semi-Finalists – 2009 (Stade Francais)
Super Rugby Semi-Finalists – 2006 (Waratahs)
Super Rugby Finalists – 2005 and 2008 (Waratahs)
Rugby World Cup Finalist – 2003 (Wallabies)
British and Irish Lions Winners - 2001 (Wallabies)
Tri Nations Winners – 2000 and 2001 (Wallabies)
Bledisloe Cup Winners – 2000 and 2001 (Wallabies)
Super Rugby Finalists - 2000 (Brumbies)
he is my choice