Keighley Cougars announced that they had parted company with head coach Rhys Lovegrove with immediate effect recently to the surprise of many.
CEO Ryan O’Neill said: “We would like to thank Rhys for his commitment and service to the club and it is disappointing that results have not reflected the hard work and commitment that he has undoubtedly shown. He leaves with our very best wishes.”
Rhys Lovegrove said: “Having been at the club 4 years it has been a honour and privilege to lead the club as head coach. I would like to thank the performance staff, some often going above and beyond, and the players and I wish all concerned the very best for the future.”
Assistant Coach and Jamaica International, Jy-mel Coleman will take over as head coach on an interim basis with the support of Jordie Hedges, Dean Muir and Jake Webster who steps up as Director of Rugby.
The news came as a shock with the Cougars having a relatively strong start to the season despite being newly promoted.
They have let go of star signing Luke Gale as the former Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos star headed to Wakefield Trinity.
Despite this, they are five points clear of relegation and sit ninth just two points outside the play-off spots.
In an ironic twist, Rhys Lovegrove has picked up an award just weeks after his departure.
He was awarded the Active Bradford Coach of the Year.
COACH OF THE YEAR award, sponsored by @YorkshireSport
🥇Winner : Rhys Lovegrove @Cougarmania
Andy Brown @Bulldogs_IHC @CiaraPatchett
Mike Conway @Wyke_Wanderers
Natalie Simpson – Kidd @TKDHorizon
Sokii Abbas @R1_Rovers @TasifKboxer
Tayaba Parveen pic.twitter.com/KtIcLh39yN
— Active Bradford (@Active_Bradford) May 25, 2023
So, perhaps a mistake from the Cougars?