Jarrod Hodgkin will step down as coach of Wodonga Raiders at the end of the season.
Despite being contracted for next year, Hodgkin recently informed Raiders' officials of his intentions.
The playing group were also told of the shock announcement last week.
Hodgkin is in the process of purchasing his employer's business, Staffpower, which is a labour hire company based in Albury-Wodonga.
The 29-year-old cited increasing work commitments as the major reason behind his surprise decision.
"I had a business opportunity that has been in the pipeline for the past few months that recently came to fruition," Hodgkin said.
"So it was an easy decision for me in the end.
"I'm at the age where my career is now my priority and more important than football.
"I was contracted to coach next year but I told officials at the start of the year that I was unlikely to go again."
In a stunning coup, Raiders lured Hodgkin from fierce rival Wodonga in 2018 as assistant coach to Daryn Cresswell.
He replaced Cresswell at the helm in 2019 and enjoyed an outstanding season to claim the Morris medal.
The Raiders lost the elimination final to Myrtleford.
"It's probably fair to say that it was a controversial decision at the time when I decided to join Raiders from Wodonga," he said.
"But I've got no regrets.
"It has been terrific for my development both as a coach and as a person.
"I think I was able to take my football to another level and I have made some great friends and have really enjoyed the challenge.
"I can't thank Raiders' officials enough for giving me the opportunity to coach and I'm looking forward to my future at the club."
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Hodgkin said he felt like he had coached last year after spending the off-season recruiting and overseeing the pre-season before COVID-19 ruined the season.
"I'm sure most coaches would agree that re-signing your list, trying to recruit and then taking the pre-season, you don't get a break," he said.
Hodgkin said he was keen to extend his playing career at Birallee Park next season.
"I'm keen to keep playing at the higher level," he said.
'I'm really loving my time at Raiders and if it wasn't for the business opportunity I would have honoured my contract for next season.
"But I just wanted to do the right thing by the Raiders and myself as well.
"I'm keen to stay and hopefully the club can find a suitable coach over the next month or so."
After a slow start to the season, the Raiders have improved sharply over the past fortnight.
They scored their best victory of the season so far two week's ago with an upset away win over Myrtleford.
Raiders also pushed Wangaratta Rovers on the weekend to get within 17-points.
They sit outside the top-five on percentage but can replace Corowa-Rutherglen in fifth spot with the two sides set to clash on Saturday.
Hodgkin said he had been buoyed by the Raiders' progress over the past two weeks.
"I thought we were better for longer against Wangaratta Rovers than Myrtleford the previous week," he said.
"The Rovers fielded their strongest line-up for the season so far against us in my opinion.
"I thought we took another step forward for sure."
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