NORTH Melbourne has parted ways with senior coach Rhyce Shaw effective immediately.
The Roos announced on Thursday afternoon they had reached an agreement with Shaw to depart with two years remaining on his coaching contract.
Shaw had taken an indefinite break from the club after the club's three-win season to deal with his personal health.
"We fully support him and have been in constant contact since the conclusion of the season. At all times, our focus has been on the health of wellbeing of Rhyce and providing adequate care for him and his family," chairman Ben Buckley said in a statement.
"Since taking on the role as caretaker coach in the middle of the season in 2019 and then senior coach for 2020, Rhyce has given his all to the club.
"He has been an exceptional leader and is a man of the highest integrity. His work ethic is unparalleled, and we are truly grateful for the time, effort and energy he’s put into the role.
"We will continue to work with Rhyce to ensure he has all the support he needs.
"I'd also like to thank the media again, for the care and sensitivity they've shown. I hope this becomes a new benchmark for the way we deal with similar issues in the future, should they arise.
"We continue to ask that Rhyce's privacy and that of his family, continue to be respected."
Shaw thanked the club for the opportunity it afforded him.
"I'm immensely grateful to the North Melbourne Football Club for the opportunity it afforded me as senior coach, and want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the football department and club staff, as well as North's incredible members and supporters, who together, endured an extraordinarily challenging season," he said.
"Your contribution, commitment and dedication to this club was enormous, and I am deeply grateful.
"To the players – I will forever cherish the relationships we built and the stories we shared, and I'm grateful for the courage and belief you demonstrated along the journey.
"I'd also like to extend my thanks to members of the AFL media for the care and respect they've shown during this time.
"Despite the challenges of the past year, my passion for football remains. The experiences I've had throughout my career developing young footballers to reach their potential has given me the greatest satisfaction and pride, and I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to this great game again in the future.
"For now, however, my focus is on taking time out, and I would ask that my privacy, and that of my family, continue to be respected at this time."
Shaw joined the Roos as an assistant coach ahead of 2019 and was thrust into the interim coaching position for the final 12 games of the season after the club parted with Brad Scott.
Appointed to the full-time position on a three-year deal ahead of 2020, Shaw steered the Roos to wins in the first two games of the season.
However, from there the Roos managed just one win from the final 15 matches.
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AFL.com.au reported last week that Port Adelaide senior assistant and former Brisbane coach Michael Voss would be a person of interest.
Sydney premiership coach Paul Roos has also been approached to fulfil a senior role at the club.
"As for the next steps, over the past few weeks we have had to plan for several contingencies," Buckley said.
"One of those was to prepare to be on the hunt for a new coach and that search begins immediately.
"We will establish a coaching panel setup and its aim will be simple: to identify and appoint the best coach available."
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The Roos also parted with six senior coaches among a host of changes to its football department earlier this month.
It comes in addition to making forwards coach Brendan Whitecross and defensive coach Jared Rivers redundant during the season.
Dual premiership player John Blakey has crossed from Sydney to Arden Street as a senior assistant coach for next year, however isn't expected to take the head coaching mantle.
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The Roos are also preparing for a major list turnover heading into 2021 with 11 players delisted and uncontracted forward Ben Brown told to explore his options at another club.
Greater Western Sydney free agent Aidan Corr has committed to the Roos on a long-term deal in a boost to the backline.
In a letter to members on Thursday afternoon, Buckley highlighted a list of 12 existing senior players who would help the club bounce back next season.
However, it didn't include veteran Shaun Higgins who is set to join Geelong on a two-year deal despite having one year on a contract with the Roos.