Graham Annesley is heading back to Sydney's NRL offices for one final assignment but expects Gold Coast to be an NRL powerhouse when he returns.
The Titans chief executive will effectively become NRL boss Todd Greenberg's right-hand man next season as head of elite football programs.
The former referee and NRL chief operating officer considers himself a Gold Coaster after five years at the Titans, which was first spent saving and then rebuilding the club.
He will depart in November but plans to move back to the city in the future and support a thriving rugby league team.
The NRL swooped to buy the Titans when they were on their knees financially, with a cocaine scandal another low point before the recent re-sale of the club to former owner Darryl Kelly and ex-chair Rebecca Frizelle.
Annesley says, after years of posting losses of up to $3 million, the club was close to breaking even.
"The club was in all sorts of difficulties when I got here; the situation was very dire, this club could've folded," he said.
"(The NRL) could've easily walked away from the club and the Gold Coast but they decided to stick with the Gold Coast, because this is rugby league heartland."
The Titans, under rookie coach Garth Brennan, will finish mid-table this season.
They will also end their campaign in front of a sell-out crowd for the first time in the club's 11-season history, as they play North Queensland in Johnathan Thurston's NRL farewell.
Annesley, who rides the highs and lows of a game like a die-hard fan, said all the pieces were in place for on-field success as soon as next season.
"(The Titans) will have success, will play in finals, will win grand finals," he said.
"(Brennan is) working extremely hard to give the players the belief and confidence they can compete with the best in the competition."
Australian Associated Press