McLaughlin to take Ulster Academy role at end of season

Ulster Rugby have confirmed that Brian McLaughlin will step down as Head Coach at the end of the season.

Ulster Rugby have confirmed that Brian McLaughlin will step down as Head Coach at the end of the season.

The province said that McLaughling will move to a senior coaching position within the Ulster Academy, on a permanent contract.

They did not say who will take the Head Coach post for the 2012-13 season.

Ulster Director of Rugby David Humphreys said: "While we are not yet in a position to confirm who our Head Coach will be for next season, I can confirm that Brian will remain in a senior coaching position at the club, moving to work with Gary Longwell in our Academy on a permanent basis.

"Prior to Christmas, Brian and I discussed his coaching position and he was aware that we were considering a number of different coaching options for next season. Traditionally, the two-week break between the conclusion of the Heineken Cup pool stages and the resumption of the PRO12 has been the time when staff and players who are out of contract at the end of the season, are advised of their contractual position for the following season."

McLaughlin took a career break from teaching at R.B.A.I to take the Head Coach role at Ulster Rugby.

He originally joined Ulster Rugby on a two-year contract in June 2009, and last year accepted a permanent senior coaching position at the club while also agreeing a year-long extension as Head Coach.

"The option of the Academy role offered Brian long-term stability and the security to leave his teaching job in order to coach full time," said Humphreys

"We are aiming to make Ulster Rugby a leading force in European rugby and to do that we need to develop our Academy system and elite player pathway. Brian has a proven record and a genuine interest in this area and this role offers him an opportunity to shape the future of Ulster Rugby. Our youngsters will benefit enormously from his experience.

"There's no doubting what Brian has achieved in his tenure as Head Coach over the past two and a half years and we hope that there is more to come this season as we prepare for the Heineken Cup quarter-final and push for a play-off place in the PRO12."

Brian McLaughlin said: "While I may not be staying on as Head Coach I know that my coaching future lies with Ulster Rugby.

"We all know the crucial role our overseas players play in our success, but it is imperative we foster local talent in the and my new role within the Academy will ensure that I continue to play a leading role in the development of both Ulster and Irish Rugby.

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my two and a half seasons at the helm and take huge pride in the success we’ve had, however, with a Heineken Cup quarter-final and a push for a PRO12 play-off spot to come I’m very much focused on leading Ulster for the remainder of this season and am totally committed to achieving our goals of progression in both competitions."

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