Jake White has stepped down as Sharks director of rugby after just one season in charge.
White led the team to the Super Rugby semi-finals earlier this year before taking a more advisory role during the Currie Cup campaign, with Brad Macleod-Henderson handling the first team coaching duties.
White has made considerable changes to the Sharks' rugby structures in the year since his appointment. He was tasked with upping the skill levels of the young coaches as well as working to restructure the Sharks Academy. Initially signed on a three-year deal, he has taken the decision to part ways with the Sharks early, as he did when in charge with the Brumbies.
The Sharks and White are said to have begun discussions last week on a possible separation and an agreement was reached over the weekend.
Current Sharks CEO John Smit was key to White's appointment at the end of 2013, having won the World Cup with him during a successful tenure at the Springboks.
'Jake and I have known each other a long time and were very frank in our discussions regarding this Sharks opportunity back in 2013,' said Smit. 'Jake was excited to implement change as well as be involved with South Africa’s most talented squad but from the outset stated his ambition to be on the international stage again and I was all too happy to have him for however long we could. What he has achieved for us in such a short time is incredible and our staff and players have learned a huge amount.'
White's Sharks were the only South African side to make the play-offs. Their season concluded with a disappointing 38-6 semi-final loss to the Crusaders in what would turn out to be his last match at the helm.
'I was offered an exciting challenge in a great rugby city,' said White following the decision. 'I believe we put together some excellent structures under new chief executive John Smit, who was always supportive.
'I’m closing this chapter in my life as I believe it is the right time to do so. I want to thank and acknowledge the Sharks for my time spent with the team.'
White has long made it clear his intention to coach at international level again, while a move back to his home city of Cape Town is also said to have been a factor in his decision.
Meanwhile, the Sharks have given no indication of a possible replacement, or what the new coaching structure might be heading into the 2015 season.
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