Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has recommitted to the franchise for another two years, he confirmed today.
His second season with the southerners ended in disappointment on Friday night when they went down to the Reds in Brisbane to dash their hopes of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
However the Highlanders' results have improved drastically since Joseph took over the reins after they had finished 12th in the 2010 season.
The former All Black flanker has been credited with adding a harder edge to the side, which has seen them narrowly miss the playoffs two years in a row, knocking over some of the heavyweights of the competition in the process.
Joseph said he had no hesitation in signing on for another two seasons with the franchise.
"I have been fortunate to have a great group of committed and hard-working players with me, as well as a supportive coaching and management team, and a very energetic franchise organisation," he said in a statement.
"We've made some real progress over the last couple of seasons, and I want to remain because I have my sights on a very clear goal - to take the Highlanders to a Super Rugby Final."
Joseph coached the New Zealand Maori side in 2010, but there has been no word over whether he will continue in that role, with a tour to Britain looming at the end of the year.