Bath pull the plug on Geech
New head coach will be announced 'in due course'
Last Updated: 04/04/12 2:12pm
Sir Ian McGeechan: His Bath contract is up at the end of the season
Bath have confirmed that director of rugby Sir Ian McGeechan will leave the club at the end of this season.
McGeechan's existing two-year contract ends next month and the Scot has been linked to a role with the Lions as they build up for the 2013 tour of Australia.
Bath have suffered an erratic season, finding themselves well adrift of the Premiership play-off race and struggling to secure automatic qualification for next season's Heineken Cup.
Last Saturday Bath suffered a 26-6 home defeat against Northampton that resulted in the club's coaching staff apologising to supporters for such a poor performance.
McGeechan, 65, initially joined Bath as performance director. He held previous coaching roles with Northampton and Wasps, and is synonymous with the British and Irish Lions, having headed up four tours during a 20-year spell.
Bath chief executive, Nick Blofeld told the club's website: "We would like to thank Geech for his time with the Club and for his assistance in developing the culture at the Club through this transitional period.
"An announcement regarding a new Head Coach will be made in due course."
Sir Ian McGeechan added: "I've really enjoyed being part of Bath Rugby and the challenge of leading the cultural change that has taken place particularly over the last 18 months.
"The commitment of the players and staff during this significant transitional period has been outstanding. I will now take on the responsibility as Head Coach for the last three games."
Several names have already been linked with taking over from McGeechan at the Recreation Ground.
These include Gary Gold, who is currently in temporary charge of Premiership relegation favourites Newcastle, and his fellow South African Nick Mallett, who recently missed out behind Stuart Lancaster to be appointed England head coach.
London Irish backs coach and former Bath player Mike Catt could also come into the frame.
Former Scotland coach McGeechan took charge of the Lions in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009, while he was rugby director at Northampton during the late 1990s before heading back to Murrayfield as Scotland's rugby director.
He then took over at Wasps in 2005, landing the Heineken Cup during his second season at the helm, and moved to Bath almost two years ago following a brief stint as coaching advisor with their west country rivals Gloucester.
Bath have three Premiership games remaining this season - against Sale Sharks, Wasps and Leicester - in an attempt to secure top-flight European qualification.