Kilmarnock find themselves searching for a new manager after Steve Clarke left the club to take up the vacant managerial post for the Scotland national team.
The 55-year-old had only been at Rugby Park since October 2017, but still managed to become one of the clubs best managers in their recent history in that time. Clarke took charge of the club when they were rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table, but made an instant impact at the club and helped them surge up to a fifth placed finish in 2017/18.
This season he then managed to further improve the teams fortunes this season. Killie ended up finishing in third place thanks to a final day victory against Rangers, their best final league position since 1966 and one which means that they will play in the Europa League qualifiers next term. Such was his success with the club that he was linked with several other jobs before taking the Scotland role, including at Fulham and Celtic.
The former West Brom and Reading boss finishes his time at the club with 34 wins from 67 league matches, losing just 15.
Speaking to the clubs official website, director Billy Bowie said: "While we’re naturally disappointed to lose such a talented manager, I understand the lure of managing Scotland is a powerful one.
“Steve leaves an incredible legacy, delivering our best campaign in over half a century and providing European football for the first time since 2001. His place in this club’s illustrious history is assured."
The main objective for Kilmarnock now becomes finding the right manager to replace Clarke for next season. With their season set to start on the 11th July due to Europa League commitments, the club will want to press ahead with appointing a successor sooner rather than later, but who will they choose?
We have taken a look at the bookmaker odds to see who the main candidates to take the managerial hot seat at Rugby Park could be.
Gary Holt favourite to become next Kilmarnock manager
The favourite to take over from Clarke is someone who is already a legend at Killie in Gary Holt.
As a former player for the club, Holt enjoyed a hugely successful time at Rugby Park between 1995-2001. He made 138 league appearances in that time, scoring 12 goals from midfield and helping them win the Scottish Cup in 1997.
He loved his time with the club so much that he even has a Kilmarnock tattoo, so could now be the time for him to return to oldest professional club in Scottish football?
Holt is currently in charge of fellow Premiership side Livingston, where he successfully helped them avoid relegation with a ninth placed finish despite only being promotion via the play-offs last season. Whilst he may feel a sense of loyalty to them after they gave him the opportunity to manage in the top flight despite his previous job being back in 2014, the lure to a club which he loves may prove to be too much.
Sky Bet are currently offering odds of 11/10 for Holt to take the job at Rugby Park, making him the clear favourite.
Other managers in Kilmarnock frame
There are of course several other names being linked with the job at Kilmarnock, with Ally McCoist being the man just behind Holt in the bookmakers odds at 4/1.
The 56-year-old is another former player for Killie, having represented them between 1998-2001 before finishing his playing career. In terms of management his only previous experience is a three-year stint in charge of Rangers between 2011-14 but it was a successful one in which he led the club to back-to-back titles in the fourth and third tier as they made their way back up the leagues.
Despite having been out of the game for over five years, McCoist has confirmed that he would be interested in the job whilst speaking live on air to his talkSPORT colleague Alan Brazil. Could a return to management be on the cards for the former Scotland international?
Derek Adams is third favourite at 5/1, he is looking for work after being sacked by Plymouth Argyle just before the end of the season. He has good experience managing in Scottish football having previously led Ross County to promotion to the top flight back in 2012.
Next Kilmarnock manager odds:
(All odds taken from Sky Bet)
- Gary Holt - 11/10
- Ally McCoist - 4/1
- Derek Adams - 5/1
- Gary Rowett - 8/1
- Paul Clement - 8/1
- Alex Dyer - 9/1
- Alan Stubbs - 12/1
- Lee McCulloch - 12/1
- Neil Lennon - 12/1Gary Holt favourite to become next Kilmarnock manager