Mick McCarthy: 12 March 2003 - 6 March 2006
Mick McCarthy took over at the helm with Sunderland already destined for relegation.
However, McCarthy went on to build a formidable side in his second season, sitting in the upper echelons of the division and finishing FA Cup semi-finalists.
During his second full season in charge, Sunderland went on to convincingly win the newly-named Championship.
The club’s return to the Premier League had been impressive, but they subsequently suffered the worst season in the club’s history finishing with just 15 points.
McCarthy was sacked three quarters of the way through the season before declaring proudly that he ‘had enjoyed every minute of it’.