Glenn Morrison has stepped down from his post at Dewsbury Rams.
The 40-year-old has become the first coach to leave his post this season after a dismal start to the season, with the Rams losing their first six Championship games.
Dewsbury’s players were informed that training would not take place on Monday, with the squad having a meeting with the club’s board instead.
A former Bradford and Wakefield player, Morrison took over as the club’s head coach in September 2012 and steered them to mid-table finishes in all of his seasons in charge, finishing sixth in 2014 and 2015 before he guided the club to an eighth-placed finish in 2016.
Morrison managed to consolidate Dewsbury’s position in the Championship despite losing key personnel on an annual basis. Anthony Thackeray, Ryan Fieldhouse and Matty Wildie were among the key personnel to leave the club during his tenure, however impressive recruitment saw the Rams find a way to replace them, with fullback Josh Guzdek, a signing ahead of the 2016 season, being named in the Championship Team of the Year.
But the club came unstuck ahead of the current season. Shane Grady, Joel Farrell and Dalton Grant all departed to join rival Championship clubs, with results subsequently taking a downward spiral.
Morrison’s departure follows the club’s heavy 56-18 defeat to Bradford on Sunday, despite leading 18-12 shortly after half-time. Dewsbury remain pointless and two points adrift of safety, while they also have the worst attack in the Championship having scored just 38 points in six games, conceding 234 in the process.
In a joint statement, Morrison said it had been an “honour” to coach the West Yorkshire club.
“I want to thank the club for the opportunity and the years I have had here.
“We have had some successful seasons that I’m proud of, but unfortunately we just have not had the results required this season, and so I feel the time is right to part ways.
“I wish Mark and the club all the success in the future.
“It has been an honour to have coached the Dewsbury Rams.”
Chairman Mark Sawyer added: “Glenn approached me after the game last night.
“He felt it was in the best interests of the club for him to step down and allow us to get someone else in, and give them enough time to try and turn the performances around.
“I can only reflect positively on Glenn’s near five-year tenure as head coach of Dewsbury Rams.
“He was a part-time coach who put in full-time hours and he brought some great players to the club, despite working to a limited budget.
“While results so far this season have been disappointing, it should be noted that Glenn delivered the club’s highest finishing position in many years during his time with us.
“He leaves with our sincerest best wishes.”