FOR the first time in 10 years the Bendigo Braves will have a new coach in 2019.
Club legend Ben Harvey announced yesterday he would not continue in the top job after nine seasons.
His contract expired at the end of the SEABL campaign as the Braves were knocked out by Kilsyth last weekend.
Harvey has tossed the decision up over numerous seasons but in 2016 signed a two-year deal to continue as coach.
This year he was appointed as Bendigo Stadium Limited’s general manager of sport, a role which will see his continued involvement with the club.
“My involvement with the Braves programs certainly doesn’t end with this announcement, it simply evolves,” Harvey said.
“In the past 17 years I’ve been privileged to be part of the club’s almost 35-year history and now I make way for the next head coach to take the Bendigo Bank Braves into the next stage of success.”
In nine seasons with the club Harvey has won 72 per cent of the games he has coached, been named SEABL coach of the year three times and coached the club to a championship in 2016.
Prior to that he was part of a Braves championship team as a player.
“It has been a huge part of my life and I have gathered memories and friendships that I will carry with me for the rest of my days,” he said.
“I just want to say thank you to my family, particularly my wife, Kirstie and two girls, Mia and Lily, along with my parents Brian and Josie and all the people that have supported me throughout my playing and coaching career.”
His departure may not be the last for Bendigo, with Chris Hogan and Taylor Bell weighing up retirement.
Both co-captains announced their retirement after last season but then decided to make a comeback.
The Braves also lost David Hogan midseason due to ongoing concussion issues but he stayed with the team as an assistant coach.
BSL says it will now begin the search for a new head coach for the Braves men’s program.