TORQUAY Athletic have put Mark Woodhead in temporary charge of first team affairs following the departure of Chris Dorling.
Dorling resigned as head coach last week four days before the Tics were due to play Tavistock at home in the Western Counties Division.
Woodhead has been looking after the Extras for the past couple of seasons, but is no stranger to the senior side, having coached them for a couple of seasons before switching to the colts then the extras.
The Woodhead touch worked – Torquay hammered Tavistock 57-24 – and he remains in charge for the derby date at Teignmouth this Saturday afternoon.
Chris Edwards, the Torquay chairman, said the club are looking for a new head coach but having Woodhead as caretaker means they don't have to rush into what is an important decision.
"Mark is vastly experienced as a coach and would be more than capable of doing the job full time if he was available," said Edwards.
"Being self-employed with all that entails means Mark cannot commit to the workload necessary to be the first team coach.
"Mark is happy to stand in for us while we find a successor to Chris Dorling, which isn't going to be easy.
"As soon as word got out that Chris had gone we had people approaching us – and asking for ridiculous amounts of money. We had to say we are not in that league.
"It is important we get the right man but also give him the right job description.
"The easiest thing in the world would be for us to stand still for another season, but perhaps we should continue pushing for promotion?
"That's something for the executive to discuss before we go advertising for a new coach."
If Torquay are serious about being promoted the next four games are going to be crucial.
Beating Tavistock took the Tics up to fifth on 20 points, four behind leaders Burnham.
Coming up for Torquay are three games against teams ahead of them in the table: Teignmouth (3rd), Burnham, Truro (8th) and Kingsbridge (2nd). Defeats by any of the front runners will be damaging.
Torquay were 31-5 up at half time against Tavistock with the bonus point already in the bag.
Sam Fellows had crossed twice, Mike Cavanna, James Wood and James Hill had a try each and Alex Jeffrey added three goals.
Wood added two more tries in the second half and Jeffrey had two more as well, plus three more conversions.
The only downside for Torquay was that Wood, Hill, Tom Bright and Jon Woodhead all suffered injuries.
Woodhead was kicked on the shin and had to go to hospital for a precautionary x-ray.
Torquay Colts warmed up for a crack at Paignton on the Rec in the National Colts Cup this Sunday (2.30pm) with a 20-10 win over Newton Abbot.
A Torquay penalty by Jamie Hext, when Sam Pavey was yellow carded, plus a Dan Lloyd try converted by Hext near the end decided the match in favour of the visitors.
Earlier, a Hext seven pointer put Torquay ahead after nine minutes.
A penalty from Newton fly-half Jack Sweeney was cancelled out by a similar effort from Hext to leave the home side 10-3 adrift at the break.
Newton made the best possible start to the second spell with an Ed Brown interception try converted by Sweeney to level at 10-all.
However, the home side were unable to score again leaving Torquay to close out the game.
Torquay coach Steve Davies said: "Jamie Hext had an outstanding game at outside-half and controlled the match throughout.
"I thought we played very solidly. We defended very well when Newton Abbot started to come back early in the second half.
"Overall the commitment and concentration levels were very high from us."
The Quins beat Tavistock 34-31 in a Merit Table Two game.