It ends the tenure of the longest-serving South African coach after 149 Super Rugby matches with one year left on his contract. He took the Bulls to the Super Rugby title in 2009 and 2010.
The Blue Bulls Company confirmed in a statement a number of coaching changes with regards to the 2015 Currie Cup season and Super Rugby in 2016.
The Board indicated that Ludeke would step down as Super Rugby and Currie Cup head coach with immediate effect.
Discussions with Ludeke about his future are ongoing as well as the process to appoint a new head coach for Super Rugby 2016, the statement said.
The Board also confirmed a decision in February 2015 to extend the contract of CEO Barend van Graan until January 2019.
Nollis Marais was appointed new head coach of the Blue Bulls for the Currie Cup season with immediate effect.
The 43-year-old Marais said of his appointment: “This is a dream come true for me and something I have always wanted to do and worked towards in the various Blue Bulls structures.”
Marais, an accredited World Rugby level 3 coach, has been involved with coaching at all levels in the union, starting his coaching career back in 2003 as Under-15 coach of Overkruin High School in Pretoria.
He has progressed through the ranks and in recent years coached UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup (2010-2015), the Blue Bulls Under-21s (2011-2015) and the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup team (2013-2015), winning the Varsity Cup and Absa Under-21 provincial championship.
He will meet with the various stakeholders soon and promised total commitment and passion to ensure the Blue Bulls continue as one of the most successful teams in the history of the Currie Cup.
“We will have a change in approach in the way we do things and play the game and I am excited about the mixture of talent we have between the youngsters in our system and the senior players,” said Marais.
“I have worked with all but five of the players in our squad before, so I’m very keen to continue in my efforts to assist them in becoming the best players they can be.
Marais called on the Blue Bulls supporters and sponsors to rally behind the team.
“Every player and member of management will leave nothing out there on the field in our effort to make you proud of us.”
Original source: Ludeke quits after season to forget