MARK Evans has been announced as Gold Coast's new chief executive to fill the void left by Andrew Travis, who resigned on Monday.
The move was confirmed at a club press conference on Tuesday morning at Suns headquarters, with chairman Tony Cochrane saying he had been able to "lasso" Evans into the position.
Evans had been linked to the chief executive vacancy at Hawthorn and confirmed he had met with the club but had not applied for the role.
But his departure from the AFL means the League will be looking for a new football operations general manager on the eve of the season.
Cochrane said it was a "significant" appointment for the club and Evans said he was ready for what awaits.
"I know the challenges the Gold Coast Suns face but the opportunities and the important of this club to the national competition can't be overstated," Evans said.
"The health of the whole competition depends on growing the footprint of our game in Queensland – and the Gold Coast Suns are absolutely on the front line."
The quick appointment of Evans comes after Travis departed the role on Monday after two-and-a-half years steering the Suns.
Evans takes over as the Suns move into their new training and administration facility and will start at the Suns next Monday, having stepped down from his position at the AFL immediately.
He leaves the AFL after four years as its general manager of football operations having taken on that position following a successful role as Hawthorn's football manager.
"Many people would say I have had the best job in football, and it has been an absolute privilege to have run the football operations on behalf of the game that I love so much. I will certainly miss the team that I led, the projects I worked on, the people I dealt with at clubs, and the passion of the role," he said.
"But it is a great time to move on, and I am very excited about leading the Suns."
Cochrane told AFL.com.au on Monday that the Suns would waste no time in replacing Travis. He said he had zeroed in on Evans as a replacement when Travis informed the club last week he was keen to move on.
"I jumped on the phone and I started harassing Mark, and then I harassed everyone in the AFL system that I humanly could, from Gill [McLachlan] down," he said.
"I feel like a kid in a candy store at the moment. It's such a coup for us."
Cochrane denied the AFL had planted Evans at the club to help guide the Suns after a rocky start to their time in the competition, and said Travis "was most certainly not pushed" out of his role.
"To suggest they (the AFL) have just rung us up and planted Mark in here is just an absolute lie. The truth of the matter is we pushed really hard to get someone of Mark's credentials," he said.