Employed on a contract that stipulated form must be maintained, Nathan Brown and the Newcastle Knights have mutually agreed to part ways at the end of the season.
With the top eight still in sights for the Knights, both Brown and the club felt like it was the right decision to make.
“Nathan will go down as one of the most important coaches in Knights history,” Knights CEO Philip Gardner said.
“When he joined our Club ahead of the 2016 season, it was at its lowest ebb. The sheer size and scale of the task he was faced with was monumental.
“It would have broken a lesser man.
“Put simply, it would be wrong to measure his contribution to the Knights in wins and losses alone.”
Overseeing a major upheaval of the club’s playing roster, Gardner praised Brown for the patience and tenacity he showed in rebuilding the side.
“Nathan shaped our roster as he did our Club,” Gardner continued.
“He once again made Newcastle a place that players wanted to not just play in, but play for.
“His record speaks for itself.
“He has laid the platform for the team to return to premiership contention, and he has been the driving force behind adding both depth and quality to the roster.”
Recruiting high profile players and giving them players to build around, now puts the club in a great position moving forward.
“He brought true world class talent back to the club in the signings of Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, David Klemmer, Tim Glasby and more,” Gardner continued.
“He also led the development of home-grown talents like Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Daniel Saifiti, and Mitch Barnett, who all grew immeasurably under his leadership.
“And in the years to come, we will see his hard work pay off when a new wave of local juniors enter the ranks of Knights NRL players – and this time, they will be ready to step up to the challenge.”
With the rebuild complete, Brown felt like it was the right time to step aside.
“My main job was to come here and put the Club back together,” Brown said.
“It’s been a tough but enjoyable job. I’ve met lots of great people and I feel the club is far better off for me coming here.
“The roster and salary cap issues have been resolved and there’s the potential of a team to have sustained success.
“A lot of the heavy lifting has been done and now I’m leaving it to the next group of club leaders to continue the job.”