GEELONG champion and current assistant coach Matthew Scarlett has walked out on the club.
Scarlett's departure as backline coach continues a complete overhaul of the club's coaching panel after Corey Enright (forwards) and Matthew Knights (midfield) left last week.
AFL.com.au understands Scarlett had been considering the move in the aftermath of the Cats' messy preliminary final exit before making his decision on Thursday.
The Cats moved to change the employment terms of their assistant coaches last year during COVID-19, moving them from fixed contracts to ongoing employees.
Scarlett insists he is walking away from coaching for the short-term.
"It has been an incredible journey, much more than I could ever have hoped for when I joined the club," Scarlett said.
"I have enjoyed coaching, but the time is right to take a break. The relationships I have formed over my time at the club will remain with me forever.
"I would like to thank the club, the coaches I have worked with and the players for making it such an enjoyable experience. I will really miss the 'misfits' (the internal name for the club's defenders) – a great group to work with. I wish the club success in the future."
Scarlett's move leaves Geelong with three assistant coaching vacancies in which they have already been assessing the market for potential candidates to fill.
The Cats have also indicated they may look to within with Nigel Lappin (development/ball movement), Shaun Grigg (development) and Shane O'Bree (VFL coach) currently on staff.
After retiring as a triple premiership player and six-time All-Australian in 2012, Scarlett took on a part-time position with the Western Bulldogs in 2013.
He subsequently moved to local Geelong club South Barwon and played three seasons which included two as coach in 2014 and 2015.
The 42-year-old then returned to the Cats as backline coach in 2016, a role he held for six seasons.