He launched his coaching career as player/coach for Taupiri in 1989 and stayed on in Ireland after the 1989 New Zealand tour to act as player/coach for Galwegians in Ireland.
In 1996 he became Connacht coach before succeeding Brian Ashton as Ireland coach in 1998, a post he held until 2001 with a record of 18 wins, a draw and 19 defeats from his 38 games in charge. He then joined the coaching staff at London Wasps and took over as director of rugby in 2002. They won the Premiership title in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
In Europe, he won the Challenge Cup in 2003 and the Heineken Cup at Twickenham in 2004. He returned to New Zealand in 2005 where he took over as coach to the Waikato Air New Zealand Cup team and in 2006 they won the Air New Zealand Cup. He joined the Waikato Chiefs Super 14 team as technical advisor before taking over in Wales.
Warren Gatland toured South Africa with the Lions three years ago
Appointed as the 20th Welsh national coach on 9 November, 2007, and in just over four months guided Wales to the 2008 RBS 6 Nations Champions title and the nation's 10th Grand Slam. Followed that up with Wales' 11th Grand Slam in 2012.
In addition to the five victories in the 2008 championship, he guided Wales to victory over Australia in the 2008 Autumn Series.
He was forwards coach on the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and was joined in the coaching team by current Welsh colleagues Shaun Edwards, Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins.
He coached Wales to the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finals, Wales beating Ireland 22-10 in their quarter-final in Wellington before losing 9-8 to France in the Auckland semi-finals.