Steven Ferguson has stepped down as Ross County co-manager leaving Stuart Kettlewell in sole charge as part of a major restructure at Victoria Park.
Ferguson, who has jointly held the reins alongside Kettlewell for just over two years, leaves the dugout after helping steer County to 10th place in the Premiership last season.
Ferguson will remain with the Staggies however, with the 43-year-old moving upstairs in a newly-created chief executive officer role which will give him responsibility for overseeing all departments at the club.
The change has been made following an operational review of the club, and a statement released by the Staggies said: “Steven will have an over-arching responsibility for all departments within the club and will continue to support Stuart in delivering a range of first team functions.
“Steven’s wealth of experience within the club will be a huge asset to this role that will mean focusing and developing each function of the organisation including the football department, commercial, operations, academy and community departments.”
The move will see Kettlewell become manager in his own right, with Richie Brittain stepping in as assistant and Don Cowie becoming first team coach.
As part of his move into senior coaching, vastly-experienced midfielder Cowie will retire from playing at the age of 37.
It marks an end to the co-manager structure which was implemented by County chairman Roy MacGregor following Owen Coyle’s departure in March 2018.
The duo had both previously been part of County’s youth setup, with Kettlewell having led the club’s under-20s side to the Development League title the year before, while Ferguson held the role of academy director.
Although the pair were unable to prevent the Staggies from suffering relegation that year, Kettlewell and Ferguson were handed the job permanently following an initial interim spell.
The duo succeeded in their task of steering County back to the top flight at the first time of asking, securing the Championship title by a six-point margin over closest challengers Dundee United.
Kettlewell and Ferguson also lifted the IRN-BRU Cup courtesy of a 3-1 win over Connah’s Quay Nomads at Caledonian Stadium, capping a memorable double winning campaign in their first full season in charge.
The co-managers went on to lead County to Premiership safety last season, with the Staggies finishing 10th on a points-per-game basis after their campaign was cut short with eight games to spare due to coronavirus.
Kettlewell will now be tasked with repeating that feat this season, with the Staggies boss to take training in small groups on Thursday for the first time since Scottish football was suspended on March 13.