Shock exit: Brown and Knights part ways
NATHAN Brown has quit as coach of the Newcastle Knights.
The Knights coach met with the club's administration on Monday night where it was mutually determined to sever ties at the end of this season.
Brown was on a year-by-year contract which means there will be no payout to the 46-year-old.
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Brown informed the Knights playing group on Tuesday.
Brown was appointed in 2016, collecting back to back wooden spoons in 2016-17 and finishing 11th last year.
The Knights, currently in 10th spot, are on the verge of missing this year's finals - needing to beat the Wests Tigers this weekend.
The Knights defeated the Cowboys 42-6 in Round 22 after a run of six straight losses, the victory keeping their finals hopes alive. They also lost five in a row earlier in the season.
Inconsistent team selections, a mid-season form slump and the shock release of gun centre Jesse Ramien contributed to Brown's departure.
It is believed the side's meek 20-14 surrender to the Parramatta Eels in Round 21 with their season on the line was also a factor.
With a line-up that includes stars such as Mitchell Pearce, David Klemmer and Kalyn Ponga, the team has not performed up to expectations but Brown previously had the backing of management.
Less than a month ago Knights CEO Phil Gardner had declared that Brown would coach the Knights next season barring any unforeseen issues.
On the eve of Round 19, three defeats into a six-match losing streak, Gardner said the club fully backed Brown as the long-term coach.
"From my perspective, there has to be some major issue for Nathan not to be our coach next year," Gardnersaid.
"And I just can't see that happening.
"We are rock solid behind Nathan.
"We think he has done a very good job with the club.
"From where we were 18 months ago when we had three wooden spoons in a row and all the challenges he has been through, Nathan has been incredibly resilient.
"He is a wonderful person himself and his family. He has the integrity that we need. He is personable, honest and he is one of the hardest working coaches that I've encounted.
"We are 100 per cent behind him."
Remarkably, under Brown the Knights can still qualify for the finals with matches against the Tigers (away), Gold Coast (home) and Penrith (away) to come.
The club won six straight games during the middle of the season,