Simon Grix will leave his position as Halifax Panthers head coach at the end of the season.

Grix, 37, has spent over four years as the club’s head coach but has decided to depart at the end of the season. His next destination has yet to be determined but with offers on the table for next year, Grix has informed the club of his intention to take on a new challenge next year in order to provide the club with as much time as possible to plan for the 2024 campaign and beyond.

He was appointed head coach midway through the 2019 campaign and enjoyed instant success, guiding the club to a historic Challenge Cup semi-final. Covid-19 saw the 2020 campaign cancelled but his two full seasons in charge to date have seen him deliver consecutive third-place finishes in a competition boasting clubs with much bigger resources.

The club has a long-term vision both on and off the field and that was demonstrated by the fact Grix was recently offered a long-term deal to stay at the club. But the lure of a new challenge will see him leave for pastures new next year.

Director of Rugby Richard Durgan, said: “Simon has informed the board he’s going to be taking up a new opportunity at the end of the season. From a personal point of view, I’m gutted. We have a really good working relationship and we’ve been together through some challenging times on and off the pitch. We’ve stuck together in the trenches and I’m sad to be losing him personally, but at the same time, I’m excited for him that opportunities have emerged, which is thoroughly deserved.”

“Thankfully, Simon’s decision to inform us at this stage gives us time. We don’t feel under any massive time pressure which we would have been if it was later in the season when a final decision was made, but equally, we won’t be hanging around. We’ve been well on with recruitment and got a lot of our business done early but we’re not full yet in terms of our playing squad, so there are some gaps to be filled. Of course, letting Simon’s successor have some input in those decisions would be preferable.”

“Simon will have some input in this process I’m sure and it will come down to myself and the board to go through that process. We’ve got a certain DNA in how we play rugby – a good, exciting brand. We want a coach who continues that brand.”

“Without pre-empting who these people will be, we have a lot going on, both on and off the pitch. We are looking at new training facilities, we have launched our PDRL and LDRL teams and the Ladies team is ongoing. It’s a really good time to be involved with the club.” Grix will now remain in charge for the rest of the season.”

The club take on London Broncos on Saturday with a place at Wembley up for grabs in the 1895 Cup Final and they currently hold a top-six spot.

Durgan added: “We have a lot to play for, we’re still in the play-offs, there is everything still to play for. Simon’s commitment to this club has always been unquestionable and there are no plans from his side or our side to push his departure forward.”


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