Just two years ago, he was a postman delivering mail to residents in the Geelong area while being the Geelong Falcons coach in the TAC Cup.
Now he is the Port Adelaide caretaker coach after Matthew Primus was forced to walk away from the job last night. The club was pulvarised by newcomer Greater Western Sydney on Saturday which ultimately led to the decision.
Some may be alarmed at Hocking’s appointment, but he is in the second year of an assistant coaching role at the Power after formerly being at the Falcons and then before that at Peel Thunder, where he famously played his players in one half of the ground during a match.
Hocking will want the senior job at the Power full time given his strong ambitions to coach. He was willing to head to his former team Geelong as an assistant coach but it snubbed his services.
After being successful at the Falcons in player development, Hocking attracted interest from several clubs including North Melbourne and Port.
A ball-magnet in his time at the Cats, where he was affectionately known as Buddha or Whiskers, Hocking has endured a long climb to the coaching fraternity and you feel that this next month will be all about a job interview for him for the top job full-time.
Remarkably, the two Adelaide coaches are now those who played with Geelong. Brenton Sanderson had a stellar career as a defender at the Cats, although he was born in the city of churches.
Primus, of course, won the coaching job after being caretaker after the sacking of Mark Williams.
Hocking will have a lot of convincing to do, because Port would be unlikely to go down that road again and will undertake a much thorough process to find its new coach. Scott Burns and Leon Cameron will start as heavy favourites for the top job next year and you wouldn’t discount experienced Power assistant Brad Gotch, who has served time at Collingwood under Mick Malthouse, and taken Williamstown to a flag in the VFL before coaching Casey.
Photo courtesy of portadelaidefc.com.au