Heath Pyke will coach on at Bungaree in 2019, but will do so from the sidelines.
Pyke has served as a playing leader in his four years at the helm and has decided to hang up the boots for his fifth campaign in charge.
During recent discussions, the club’s committee and Pyke agreed on an off-field coaching model for next season.
Pyke, who is currently injured and not expected to take any further part in the current season, said he was happy with the decision to retire from the game.
“It will just give me the ability to concentrate on coaching solely, which will not only benefit myself, but also the players as well,” Pyke said.
Pyke took over the position from Greg Middleton after the Demons’ 2014 grand final success against Springbank.
The senior side has made finals during the past three years, but looks in danger of missing the play-offs in 2018.
Bungaree slipped outside of the Central Highlands Football League top eight following a loss to Buninyong on Saturday.
As it stands, the Demons are two points behind the eighth-placed Dunnstown, which is heavy favourites to beat Daylesford this weekend.
If that occurs, the Towners will secure their first finals appearance since 2011.
If Dunnstown loses, Bungaree can reclaim a top eight spot with victory over Ballan.
Pyke, who played in a Ballarat Football League premiership with Lake Wendouree in 2010, was recruited to the Demons ahead of the 2013 season. He served as assistant to Middleton before taking over the top job.
Bungaree will host Ballan in Saturday afternoon’s all-important round 17 fixture.