John Leijten, was born in Australia but grew up in the Netherlands in Tilburg. He was the Nationals and Linebackers Coach for the Amsterdam Admirals, where he served for seven years. His first 2 years with the Admirals he coached the running backs. The last 5 years he coached the linebackers.
Leijten has been involved in football for 26 years now. As a player, he was a linebacker for Tilburg Sting (1984–1986; defunct now) and the Rotterdam Trojans (1988–1990), undefeated champions of the Netherlands. In 1990, an ankle injury forced John Leijten to quit playing football. As a coach Leijten started off at the Tilburg Steelers (now defunct). Under his guidance, Tilburg won Dutch national championships in 1991 and 1992 and made it to the playoff finals in 1994.
John Leijten wanted more from coaching, however, and amateur American football in the Netherlands did not offer this opportunity. However, Australia was looking for football coaches, and since John Leijten was born there it would be no problem for him to work there. So, Leijten packed his suitcase and moved back down under to fulfill his coaching dream.
John returned to Europe more experienced, looking for another coaching opportunity. His search led him to the Cologne Crocodiles where he started as defensive coordinator. In 2000, he led the Crocodiles to a Bundesliga championship. Leijten's coaching skills were noticed by Jeff Reinebold, then the defensive backs and special teams coach at the NFL Europa Amsterdam Admirals (now WR coach at the Southern Methodist University). The position of running backs coach was open at the Admirals and John Leijten was invited for an interview, which resulted in John starting in Amsterdam in 2001. From there he worked his way up to linebackers coach. He was part of the 2005 World Bowl championship team as their LB coach as well as the Amsterdam Admirals 2006 World Bowl team.
After the demise of the NFL Europa, Leijten returned to Australia. In 2008 Leijten organized football camps for Junior players in Melbourne. The Aix en Provence Argonauts knocked on Leijten’s door to prepare them for the 2009 French playoffs. The Argos played the semi final versus the Paris Flash.
After a short hiatus off the field, Leijten is now back coaching domestic football in Melbourne with the Western Crusaders where he is the Head Coach and Defensive coordinator. Recently he was also appointed as Head Coach for the Australian National Team, The Outback. The Australians will compete in the 2011 World Cup which will be held in Austria.