Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin sensationally quit on Wednesday – with under 130 days to go until the Tokyo Olympics.
Hockey Australia (HA) said that Gaudoin, who joined in late 2016, tendered his resignation following the independent review set up to investigate the ‘toxic culture’ engulfing the women’s programme. The inquiry findings are due to be released on Thursday.
Gaudoin’s exit follows that of Toni Cumpston, who quit her performance director role in January.
HA intend to announce a coach “shortly” to take the team towards the Olympics, with assistant Katie Allen assuming the interim role.
“In light of the release of the findings and recommendations from the independent review that has been undertaken, Paul informed Hockey Australia that he has decided to stand down from the role,” HA chief executive Matt Favier said in an announcement on Wednesday.
“The past 12 months have been a difficult and taxing time for everyone involved in the High Performance program and especially the coaching staff.
“He has conducted himself with integrity, devotion and commitment to the cause and done his utmost to improve the athletes, both as hockey players and as people.”
Gaudoin, a former Kookaburra, had taken Australia to world No.2 following the Rio Olympics.
In his farewell statement, he didn’t directly address the current issues in the women’s programme.
He said: “I have spent more than half my life involved with the High Performance Program as a player for the Kookaburras and as a coach for both the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras.
“Whilst I am disappointed to not see out the Olympic programme to Tokyo, I am proud to have helped get the Hockeyroos to be ranked 2nd in the world.
“I wish both teams every success in Tokyo. It is time to focus on my family and begin a new chapter of my life. I love our game and hope it stays relevant in a competitive sporting environment.”