Former North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw will return to AFL coaching ranks in 2021 as he takes on a development role with Gold Coast.
Shaw left the Kangaroos by mutual agreement in October to deal with personal issues after a turbulent season for the club.
He had two seasons left to run on a three-year contract.
The 39-year-old remains a respected figure in the football industry and will now reunite with Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew.
The pair formed a strong bond in eight years together at Sydney, where Shaw finished his playing career and moved into a coaching position while Dew was an assistant under John Longmire.
Shaw will play a key role for Gold Coast in developing one of the competition’s most exciting young lists, featuring high-end draft picks Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Ben King, Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine, among others.
Upon leaving North Melbourne, Shaw indicated developing young players was still an area of interest and a possible path forward in football.
“Despite the challenges of the past year, my passion for football remains,” Shaw said at the time.
“”The experiences I’ve had throughout my career developing young footballers to reach their potential has given me the greatest satisfaction and pride, and I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to this great game again in the future.”
Shaw played 237 games for Collingwood and Sydney, including the Swans’ 2012 premiership, and had a 10-19 record in charge of North Melbourne.
He is one of several former senior coaches now locked into assistant or development roles for 2021.
Mark Williams was handed a development position with Melbourne last month, joining Michael Voss (Port Adelaide), Brenton Sanderson (Collingwood), Brendon Bolton (Hawthorn), Don Pyke (Sydney Swans) and Matthew Knights (Geelong).
Shaw’s appointment at the Suns comes after the club made huge cuts to its coaching staff as part of severe cost-cutting measures at the end of 2020.
Senior assistant Dean Solomon was let go, along with development coaches Ashley Prescott, Nick Malceski, Andrew Swallow and Justin Koschitzke.
Dew was re-signed to the end of 2022 when he inked a two-year extension in July.