In a move that took the sport of rugby league by surprise, Wigan Warriors today announced the resignation of Shaun Wane as Head Coach of Wigan Warriors to take effect at the end of the 2018 season when he will leave the Club after a long and very successful 30-year association.
Shaun made his First Team debut in 1982 and played 150 games for Wigan under his heritage number of 779, memorably winning the Man-of-the-Match award in the Wigan World Club Challenge victory over Manly in 1987.
After finishing his playing career with spells at Leeds and Workington, he returned to Wigan as a scout in 1998 and started his coaching career in 2000 with the Scholarship squad. He progressed to become Head Coach of the Academy and Reserve Teams, consistently developing and bringing through to the First Team a steady stream of young players. He joined the First Team coaching staff as Assistant Coach to Michael Maguire in 2010 and, in his two years as Assistant Coach, helped Wigan win the Super League Grand Final, Challenge Cup Final and League Leader’s Shield.
He was appointed as Head Coach by Ian Lenagan in 2012 to succeed Michael Maguire and in the last six seasons has led Wigan to success in all four Rugby League trophies winning the Challenge Cup, League Leader’s Shield, World Club Challenge and two Super League Grand Finals.
He is the clubs longest-serving coach of the Super League era and the 5th longest-serving Wigan coach of all time.
Chairman Ian Lenagan commented:
‘’Shaun will leave Wigan Rugby League Club in the knowledge that his place in Wigan’s history is guaranteed. I feel certain that his decision to leave will have been a difficult one but he is a winner who wants to advance his career and challenge himself further on a different stage, having won everything with Wigan.
“He has developed from being a tough and uncompromising Rugby League prop in his playing days to become an equally tough and uncompromising Head Coach but with exceptional technical, tactical and player-motivational skills and a fearsome winning mentality.
“He has provided Wigan Rugby League Club with some memorable moments in the past six years and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey that we have been on together. I have immense respect and admiration for Shaun as a Coach and would be delighted to see him sign off his 7th year as Wigan Head Coach with yet more trophies.
“I feel sure the Wigan fans will join me in ensuring that Shaun gets the appropriate send-off that he so richly deserves.
“In terms of a replacement, Wigan will not rush into an appointment as Shaun goes on to complete his final season.”
Shaun Wane said:
“Regrettably I have decided to announce my resignation as Head Coach of Wigan Warriors with the 2018 season being my last in charge. Throughout my playing and coaching career I have enjoyed unparalleled success in all areas.
“The town of Wigan and the Club will always remain special to me however I feel that now is the right time for me to seek a new challenge and direction in my professional career. As Head Coach, I have taken the Club to six major finals, winning three, given debuts to 37 players from the Wigan Academy and won a World Club Challenge, to name but a few.
“These accolades have given me both personal and professional satisfaction and the memories will remain with me evermore.
“During my career, I have made many special friends with players, past and present, coaching staff, office staff and management and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you all for the support that you have afforded me, without which the success may not have been so great.
“I would also like to publicly express my sincere thanks for the incredible support from my wife Lorraine and my daughters Bethan and Megan throughout my whole career, which at times has been incredibly difficult both on and off the field, especially the last two years.
“On a final point, I would like to thank all of the players, coaching and medical staff, the loyal Wigan fans, Club Chairman, Ian Lenagan, Club Director Kris Radlinski and Head of Performance, Mark Bitcon for helping me achieve a truly memorable and successful 30 years.
“I have one last task to complete and that is to bring home as much silverware as possible this season.”
Where next for Wane?