Mark French will not return as head coach of the Hershey Bears hockey team for the 2013-2014 season.
Washington Capitals Vice President/GM George McPhee and Bears President/GM Doug Yingst made the announcement Friday morning.
In a statement, Yingst commended French for his commitment, leadership and diligent work.
"He is an excellent coach and an even better person," Yingst said. "We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Yingst said the search for the team's 24th head coach is currently underway.
French took over as head coach of the Bears in 2009. In his first season, he led the team to an AHL record of 60 wins and Hershey's 11th Calder Cup championship.
But this season didn't go well. The Bears barely made the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round.
Assistant coach Troy Mann and Reading Royals coach and former Bears player Larry Courville are among the likely candidates to replace French.