Sunderland have appointed Jack Ross as manager on a two-year deal. The St Mirren boss secured promotion to the Scottish Premiership as the Buddies secured the Championship title in the 2017/18 season.
The appointment of the 41-year-old is the first major appointment of Stewart Donald’s regime, following his takeover of the Black Cats on Monday.
Former Alloa boss Ross had been linked with the vacant managerial roles at Barnsley and Ipswich Town before eventually agreeing a move to Tyneside.
He succeeds Chris Coleman at the Stadium of Light and will take charge of Sunderland with the club in the third tier of English football following successive relegations.
St Mirren confirmed they had reached an agreement with Sunderland.
A club statement read: “St Mirren can confirm that it has reached an agreement with Sunderland AFC in relation to manager Jack Ross.
“Gordon Scott, the board of directors and everyone at St Mirren would like to thank Jack for the role he has played at the club since taking over as manager in October 2016.
“The club would also like to express its gratitude to Jack for ensuring that St Mirren FC were protected at all times and commend his commitment to the job throughout periods of speculation.
“We wish Jack every success in his new challenge at Sunderland.”
The board confirmed that it has already started the process of recruiting a successor to Ross, with his No.2 James Fowler joining him at the Stadium of Light.
A statement from Ross published on the Buddies’ website read: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to so many people involved at St Mirren FC for the experiences of the past 20 months.
“To my players and staff who have worked tirelessly to support the work we do and who have been relentless in their pursuit of success and their desire to drive the club forwards. To the chairman Gordon Scott and directors Alan Wardrop, Chris Stewart and David Nicol for their willingness and indeed patience to help meet my demands for excellence at the club, and to Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick and my guru Gavin Whyte for their incredible backing and unwavering faith in me.
“To the fantastic support I cannot thank you enough for sticking with me, backing us in our hour of need and then joining us on the terrific journey of the past season and a half. I am immensely proud that I have helped to give you your club back and I have always said that your unwavering passion for your club was there long before me and will continue long after my time.
“It has not been an easy decision to leave a club and a job which I loved but I have been offered an exciting career opportunity of which the challenge of I look forward to meeting.
“The days at Easter Road last May, and the Saturday’s 21st and 28th April at our stadium and in the town will be memories I will always treasure and I wish all Buddies every future success.
“SMTID [St Mirren ‘til I die].”