HAWTHORN'S inaugural AFLW coach Bec Goddard has announced her retirement, effective immediately.
In a shock development that occurred on Friday, it's understood Goddard came to the decision after meeting with club officials throughout the week and informed players in the afternoon.
Speaking exclusively to AFL.com.au after telling the Hawks of her retirement call, Goddard said she had given the game everything she could considering how far the competition had grown.
"At the end of the season, you always review where you're at and where you've come from," Goddard told AFL.com.au.
"I look at my time in footy and I look at it not just in terms of AFLW but outside of that. Growing up, in teenage years and into my adult life, always trying to scrap and get ahead and find a way into footy. That's tiring.
"I've achieved a lot and I don't think I've got anything more I can give to it for where the competition is at now. I've loved my time."
Goddard, an AFLW premiership coach at Adelaide before joining Hawthorn as its inaugural women's team coach in August 2021, spent two seasons at the helm of the Hawks and guided the club to a 6-14 record during her time in charge.
Her decision means four clubs are now looking for AFLW coaches heading into season 2024 after West Coast (Michael Prior), Collingwood (Steve Symonds) and the Western Bulldogs (Nathan Burke) all opted to part ways with their coaches within the last month.
Goddard, a former Adelaide premiership coach in the competition's first season, was instrumental in building Hawthorn's initial AFLW playing list and played a crucial role in luring Brisbane stars Emily Bates and Greta Bodey to the club last year.
The Hawks endured a second successive three-win season in 2023, but displayed signs of their development and improved their percentage from 57.1 in their maiden campaign to 67.3 this year.