South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire will step aside, leaving assistant Anthony Seibold in line for a promotion.
Maguire piloted Souths to a long-awaited premiership in 2014, while also collecting the 2015 World Club Challenge and 2015 Auckland Nines after joining the club in 2012.
But the Rabbitohs have stagnated since, finishing the 2017 campaign with just nine wins and well off the finals pace.
Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson on Tuesday night said the decision was in the best interests of both parties.
“We feel it’s time for the club to go along a different path in terms of the leadership of the team and the direction the team is taking, and they are the responsibilities of the head coach,” Richardson said.
“Michael also feels it’s in his best interest to head in a different direction in his coaching career.”
It would be Seibold’s first crack as a head coach, but Maguire was in the same position when tasked with the job in 2012 and went on to lead the club to its first premiership in 43 years.
Rockhampton product Seibold’s resume includes time under Craig Bellamy at Melbourne, while he is also an assistant with Queensland at State of Origin level.
Maguire had a two-year contract extension at Souths and would be paid out by the club.
Departing Canterbury captain James Graham expressed his surprise on Tuesday night, saying the club would not have won the 2014 title without Maguire.
But Cronulla’s Luke Lewis saw a silver lining for Maguire, particularly with the Gold Coast coaching position up for grabs.
“He’d be disappointed and the players would be sad to see him go, but the doors that open for him in the next weeks would be pretty big for him,” Luke Lewis said on Fox Sport’s NRL 360 program.
In farewelling Maguire, Richardson also endorsed him for a position at another NRL club.
“Michael is a great head coach and we believe he will go on to do a good job at another club but, as I said, it’s time for a change here at South Sydney,” Richardson said.
“On behalf of the club’s members, we sincerely thank Michael for his efforts over the past six years … and we wish him and his family the best of luck for what lies ahead in his career and his family’s future.”