Worcester director of rugby Mike Ruddock has resigned from his post at the Guinness Premiership club with immediate effect.
Ruddock, who guided Wales to the RBS 6 Nations title and Grand Slam in 2005, has been in charge of the Warriors for three seasons.
But his resignation comes just three days after their six-season stay in the Premiership ended when a 12-10 defeat against Leeds Carnegie condemned them to relegation.
Worcester academy manager Andrew Stanley will be in charge for the final league game of the season, at home to Gloucester on May 8.
Ruddock's departure was widely expected, amid increasing speculation that former Gloucester boss and England number eight Dean Ryan will replace him.
Announcing Ruddock's exit, Worcester chairman Cecil Duckworth said: "I have always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Mike, and I would like to thank him for his contribution to Worcester Warriors during his tenure at Sixways.
"Throughout his time at the club, Mike has always strived to develop an infrastructure that will enable the club to continue to grow, and develop an enterprising style of rugby that can be embraced by the coaches and players.
"I would particularly praise him for his tremendous efforts in guiding talented academy players such as Matt Mullan, Miles Benjamin, Tom Wood and Alex Grove into the first team and on to international call-ups during his period at Warriors.
"The results this season have been incredibly disappointing, and Mike has taken full responsibility for this.
"We will now look to take the club forward under new leadership. I would like to wish Mike and his family every success in the future.
"Our focus now switches to the search for a successor to Mike Ruddock.
"With our recruitment of players for next season to add to the current squad, I am sure they will guide us back into the Premiership at the first time of asking."
Worcester won just three league games all season, but their signings for next season include former England fly-half Andy Goode, Northampton flanker Neil Best and the talented Toulon full-back Luke Rooney.
Ruddock said he took "full responsibility" for Worcester's demise this term.
Their loss to Leeds left them five points adrift of 11th-placed Sale with just one game left, but even if they finished tied on points with the Sharks then Worcester could not finish above them as they have won less games.
"As director of rugby, I take full responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in," said Ruddock.
"Ultimately, our inability to win close games has cost us dearly.
"I would like to thank the chairman, Cecil Duckworth, for his fantastic support during my time at the club.
"I am devastated that I have not been able to deliver the success both he and the fans at Sixways deserve.
"I am sure that the squad that has been put together for next season will bounce straight back up and that they will be even stronger for the experience.
"I truly wish Worcester Warriors every success for the future."