Lambton Jaffas have been shocked by the resignation of 2017 championship-winning coach James Pascoe.
The Jaffas, running third in the NNSW NPL with four wins in six games, were given the resignation at a club meeting on Monday night.
Lambton led early but lost to Newcastle Olympic 2-1 on Saturday at Edden Oval.
Pascoe cited the demand for his time as head of sport at Hunter Sports High School and the desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for his exit after more than five seasons in charge.
"I've got nothing but admiration for the club, and I wish the Jaffas well for the future," Pascoe said in a statement.
"After a little break, I'll be back and enjoying the company of all of the guys that I've formed a strong friendship with over the five or so years I've been around.
"These decisions are never easy. The positive start to the season, off the foundation of a good pre-season by all of the players and coaching staff has made the call a little easier. Knowing that the squad is left in the experienced hands of both Bobby Naumov and Shane Pryce I believe is also a positive to ensure that the season can be successful for the Jaffas."
Jaffas administrator Chris Sneddon said Pascoe's decision was a surprise.
"He was a bit disappointed about the weekend, but it's a bigger issue with Jimmy," Sneddon said. "He just wants to take a break. He's been in it a while and he's a bit jaded by it all."
Assistants Pryce and Naumov, who have the required coaching B-licence, will take charge in the short-term.
Pryce is a former head coach at Charlestown, while Naumov has vast experience in top jobs in the competition and came to the Jaffas this season.
Sneddon said the club were meeting with the players on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.
"I think Shane and Bobby will take control for the short-term, so we can just take an opportunity to draw breath and make sure the permanent solution is one that's properly thought through," Sneddon said.
"For the next few games at least I'd like to think they will continue. They work well together so they can do the first-grade role collectively and we can see what their respective interests are.
"We'll look at all options."
Sneddon said "there was zero pressure" from the club on Pascoe.
"Jimmy is a good friend to us all and he's compatible with all the committee. There's no animosity or angst in any way," he said.
"Even Bobby coming on board had provided Jimmy with some new energy and they got on really well."
In the statement, club president Scott Douglas said: "Jimmy has been a fantastic servant to our club. His undoubted football knowledge and connections have been invaluable to us, and his values of honesty, trust and respect have been greatly appreciated by our group.
"We wish Jimmy all the best, and hope to see him around the club, and down at the ground in the not too distant future."
Lambton play unbeaten leaders Broadmeadow at Magic Park on Saturday from 5.10pm.