The veteran coach will quit the Knights at the end of the 2014 season.
Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett has announced he’ll be quitting the club at the end of the 2014 NRL season.
Bennett, who was originally contracted to the club until 2015, became a free agent once Nathan Tinkler lost ownership of the Knights.
The master coach said he based his decision on a number of different factors.
“First and foremost, I am not comfortable with the performance of the team over the three years and I take full responsibility for that,” Bennett said.
“While we have been faced with many challenges, the Club is heading in the right direction and I have confidence in the structures now in place.
“I believe it will take a number of years to reach an acceptable position and that is what I am unable to commit to. A longer term coach is crucial for future success.”
The Knights said in a statement that Bennett told the playing group and club staff of his decision on Thursday morning.
“It goes without saying I will thank the members and fans of this proud club at the appropriate time,” Bennett said.
Knights CEO Matt Gidley said whilst he was disappointed with Bennett’s departure, he understood his reasoning.
“Wayne has made this decision because he believes it is what is best for the Club,” Gidley said.
“Wayne’s experience has been invaluable, particularly during our challenging periods.”
Bennett’s decision to leave the Knights has fuelled speculation that he will return to St. George Illawarra, of whom he guided to a premiership in 2010.