The iSelect Titans coach John Cartwright and director and executive director of football Michael Searle today announced they will be standing down from their positions with the club.
Cartwright will relinquish the head coaching position after Monday night’s clash with the Sydney Roosters and assistant coach Neil Henry will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Searle has stepped down immediately as director but will continue in his football role until the end of the 2014 season. He elected to stand down at his own instigation with no pressure from the board, making the decision for what he felt was in the best interests of the Titans.
Cartwright made the decision to also step down after discussions with the board this morning.
CEO Graham Annesley said: “In the past 24 hours John Cartwright approached the board for clarification of his position going forward. Earlier today it was mutually agreed he would stand down as head coach.
“John will remain in a non-football position which is important as he is part of the very fabric of this club and the foundation coach. He has an incredible reputation in the community and among our members and corporate partners.”
“Michael felt his ongoing presence was a diversion that was having an impact on the club and as someone who was instrumental in the formation of the Titans he wanted to ensure it had the best possible chance for the future.”
Chairman Rebecca Frizelle paid great tribute to their contribution to the Titans.
Searle was the driving force of the Gold Coast bid to be in the NRL and worked tirelessly ever since and Cartwright was the foundation coach who took the Titans to the finals in 2009-10, an extraordinary achievement for a club that began in 2007.
“It should be acknowledged that this is a very sad and defining day for the Gold Coast Titans,” she said.
“Without the work of Michael Searle and John Cartwright quite frankly we wouldn’t have a Gold Coast Titans. The work they have put in has been selfless.
“They have made every single effort to make it a success. Carty got us to the finals in the third and fourth seasons which was an outstanding effort.
“We all must pay them the respect they deserve for they deserve for what they have done for the Gold Coast community and the club, and as a sponsor and chairman I am very sad to see them going and proud to have been associated with them both of them and sad to see them leaving.”
The process for appointing a coach for next season and beyond will commence immediately with the intention of finalising an appointment quickly to give the incoming coach every opportunity to prepare for what we all hope will be an exciting new era which begins in 2015.