Australian Matt Williams has quit his role as Ulster's head coach so he can return Down Under for family reasons.
The former Leinster and Scotland boss has been in charge of the Magners League outfit for 18 months after replacing Mark McCall.
They secured a place in next season's Heineken Cup after finishing eighth in the table in the 2008/09 season.
Jeremy Davidson had already been appointed as assistant coach and will now be one of the leading candidates to succeed Williams.
"I have a young family in Sydney and it has become clear that I need to give them more of my time," said Williams.
"I am delighted with the progress of the Ulster players - the team is still in the very early days of their development.
"We lost too many close games due to our inexperience but that will change with time.
"There needs to be patience and understanding that this team will grow into a powerful outfit in years to come. I am deeply disappointed that I will not be there with them on the journey.
"From Stephen Ferris, Paddy Wallace and Rory Best through to Darren Cave, Ian Whitton, David Pollock and Niall O'Connor, I was privileged to coach Ulster and witness the potential of their talent.
"I have enjoyed every day here in Ulster and am deeply sorry to leave in these circumstances. I will be watching out for them next season, but from Australia."