The legendary figure of the club was reportedly told last night that his position was no longer tenable.
McGregor will coach one final game, Friday night’s clash with the Eels, before finishing up.
He is expected to inform St George Illawarra players of the decision after the captain’s run today.
Assistant coach Dean Young has been installed as an interim head coach to see out the season.
The Dragons confirmed the news this morning, putting out a statement with quotes from McGregor.
“I approached the club’s chief executive Ryan Webb earlier in the week regarding a number of matters and we eventually came to an agreement that this week will be my last as coach of the Dragons,” he said.
“I understand a fresh face and new voice is needed to move the club forward.
” … We haven’t met performance expectations over the past 18 months, and I take acceptance of responsibility. I had the opportunity to build my team, which we did in 2017 and 2018.
“Unfortunately, we have not put that same side on the field since for a number of reasons.”
Young is likely to be a candidate for the full-time job, but the Dragons will do an exhaustive search to find the right man to take the club forward.
The elephant in the room is Shane Flanagan, who was brought in by the Dragons to offer McGregor an experienced head and a different voice to help get the message across to the players.
Flanagan is a premiership-winning coach who would be a favoured candidate for the full-time position if not for an NRL ban that hangs over him for misconduct when he was at Cronulla.
That ban will still be in place in 2021 unless the NRL is convinced to relax it, which currently seems unlikely.
Craig FitzGibbon is another strong candidate for the role who may also be off limits due to a handshake deal with Nick Politis that will keep him at the Roosters as a senior assistant coach until the end of next season.
Wayne Bennett is the other name that has been linked with a romantic return to the club he lifted to a premiership in 2010, although he is still contracted to the Rabbitohs next season.
Regardless, it is the end of the road for the doggedly determined McGregor who had the wolves at his door over and over again during his time at the Dragons.
Having already fought off his sacking earlier this season with two consecutive wins over the Sharks and Titans in rounds five and six, McGregor reportedly lost the support of a number of his senior players after chopping and changing the team’s spine on multiple occasions without finding a winning formula.
In the statement confirming the Dragons had parted ways with McGregor, CEO Ryan Webb said the call hadn’t been taken lightly.
“Paul has had a 25-year association with our club and the joint venture’s founding club, the Illawarra Steelers and has shown great passion, integrity, character and a strong work ethic throughout this time. He will forever be a part of the Dragons family,” Webb said.
He added that Dean Young’s father Craig, a board member at the club, had been excused himself of discussions relating to the assistant coach’s future.
“It’s important to note that Craig Young excused himself of any decision making pertinent to Paul’s departure and Dean’s appointment. As such, for as long as Dean remains coach, Craig will take a voluntary leave of absence from the board,” Webb said.
“The club will now turn its focus to establishing the crucial process of appointing a new head coach for the 2021 season and beyond.”
The Dragons currently sit 12th on the ladder and are all but out of finals contention.