Jim Smith has stepped down as manager of Oxford United who have appointed Darren Patterson as his replacement.
Jim Smith has decided to relinquish his position as Oxford boss
Smith made the decision to relinquish his position during a period in Spain although he had recently stated that he was not considering leaving the job.
However, Smith will stay at the club but solely in a director's role.
Smith was appointed as the U's boss in March 2006 and marked a return to a club where he enjoyed two promotions between 1983 and 1985.
Former Derby manager Smith had been out of football since his contract as coach was not renewed at Southampton following their relegation from Premiership in the summer of 2005.
Patterson had been youth team coach for four years but was promoted to first-team coach in April 2007.
Former Northern Ireland international Patterson had a period as manager of the U's in November 2004 after manager Graham Rix was moved to an upstairs role at the club.
But Patterson was asked to step down from the role when Smith and Merry led a takeover of the club.