It was a dream job that ended in a nightmare but Anthony Seibold won't let his Brisbane exit derail his NRL coaching ambitions.
The 45-year-old stepped down as Broncos coach on Wednesday, less than two years after his much heralded arrival.
It's a dramatic fall from grace for a man who was such hot property when he was appointed after leading South Sydney to a preliminary final in his first season as a head coach that Brisbane offered him a five-year contract to succeed Wayne Bennett.
Charged with revitalising the Broncos roster, Seibold achieved his initial objective by reaching the finals in 2019 but that's when everything started to fall apart.
A 58-0 hammering by Parramatta in the opening week of the finals was a blow Seibold never really recovered from, despite Brisbane winning their opening two matches of this year's campaign.
Since the post-COVID restart of the competition, the Broncos have lost 12 of 13 matches including a 59-0 thrashing by the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium.
Seibold has also had to deal with an online smear campaign, engaging lawyers to investigate vile rumours spread via social media and a family emergency involving his daughter in Sydney.
On Thursday, Seibold will be headed with a friend to another mate's farm in central Queensland, where rugby league dramas will be the last thing on his mind.
But the 2018 Dally M coach of the year is adamant he's far from finished as a head coach.
"I'll be better for this experience," Seibold said.
"One thing I'm proud of, I've been a head coach for three years, I've been able to take two of those teams to finals and that's hard to do.
"You ask any coach in the NRL who has been a head coach, it's hard to get in the playoffs. It's a really tough competition.
"I'll think about what's next, but first and foremost I want to get away and put a cowboy hat on and go back to being someone from Central Queensland."
Australian Associated Press