The Ipswich Jets will welcome a new era in 2020 with Ben Walker departing as co-head coach in 2019 after 11 years with the club.
In 2020, the Jets will continue to be coached by Shane Walker with his assistant coach, premiership winning captain, Kieron Lander.
Ben has no plans to pursue any other coaching opportunity at present unless an NRL opportunity arises and will spend time with his family and concentrate on his own thriving business.
“Ben has contributed so much of his time, expertise, passion and dedication to the club, he will always be amongst the most influential personalities that have ever been part of the Jets family," Jets CEO Richard Hughes said.
"A long time before I even joined the club, Ben’s reputation and success was something I was aware and in awe of and it is clear to see the impact he has had both within the playing group and how we play the game at the level we do."
Ben’s career at the Jets started in 2009 when he and Shane were the club’s assistant coaches.
In 2010 after the Jets finished last, they famously told the club not to contract any new players and then took that squad into the finals in 2011.
The Jets would go on to make the finals each year, before winning the Intrust Super Cup, the NRL State Championship and the BRL with no NRL players other than the Jets' own Matt Parcell and have never finished below eighth in the Walker era.
Jets chairman Steve Johnson said "it has been one exciting ride with Ben coaching at the club and his legacy is a club that reflects his personality; innovative, courageous, resilient but with a kind heart where making better people matters more than making better players”.
"The club’s one regret is not losing Ben to an NRL club in a head coaching role which is the game’s loss, but in era of boring NRL style play, it is refreshing to see NRL clubs adopt some of Ben’s unique plays," Johnson said.
"Ben will be remembered as the only Intrust Super Cup coach to have influenced how the game is played at an NRL level."
The Jets play Mackay Cutters on August 24, which is also the club’s Old Boys Day. It will be the last home game Ben will be co-head coach at, so the Jets have encouraged as many people as possible to attend.
Match: Jets v Cutters
Round 22 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Brisbane