Vernon Anthony Cotter, born on January 27, 1962, is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. He has had an extensive coaching career and has achieved success with various teams.
As a player, Cotter represented Counties Manukau in New Zealand for 10 years before moving to France and playing for several clubs there.
Cotter's coaching career began in 1999 when he returned to New Zealand to become the head coach of Bay of Plenty in the National Provincial Championship. He had some success in his first year, leading the team to the Second Division championship of the North Island.
In 2004, Cotter joined the coaching staff of the Crusaders in the Super 12 (later Super Rugby) competition. He served as the forwards coach and contributed to the team's success, including winning the championship in 2005 and 2006.
In 2006, Cotter was appointed as the head coach of ASM Clermont Auvergne in France's Top 14 league. Under his guidance, Clermont experienced a period of success, finishing as runners-up in the league and reaching the final in multiple seasons. They eventually won the Top 14 title in 2010, defeating Perpignan in the final.
Cotter also led Clermont in European competition, with the team making appearances in the Heineken Cup (now the European Champions Cup). They reached the final in 2013 but were defeated by Toulon. Clermont consistently performed well in the tournament, reaching the quarterfinals and semifinals in multiple seasons.
In 2014, Cotter left Clermont and became the head coach of the Scotland national team. He led Scotland in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarterfinals but narrowly lost to Australia. During his tenure, Scotland showed improvement and achieved notable victories, including wins over France and Wales in the Six Nations Championship.
Despite his success with Scotland, Cotter's contract was not renewed by the Scottish Rugby Union, and he left his position in May 2017. He then took up a coaching role with Montpellier in the French Top 14.
In January 2020, Cotter was appointed as the head coach of the Fiji national rugby team in preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. However, he resigned from his position in January 2023.
|2023 - present
|Bay of Plenty
|2000 - 2004
|2004 - 2006
|2006 - 2014
|2014 - 2017
|2017 - 2020
|2020 - 2023