Following Martin O'Neill into the hot seat at the Stadium of Light was Paolo Di Canio who was brought in towards the end of the 2012-13 season.
His remit was to keep the club in the Premier League as they were battling at the foot of the table without winning any of their last nine games.
The first game of his reign was a spirited away defeat at Chelsea which saw the Lads take the lead in thanks to an own goal.
Newcastle were next up for the team and no Sunderland fan could have expected the result...
The Lads romped to a 3-0 victory that was topped off with a stunning strike by David Vaughan that sent Paolo sliding on his knees at the side of the St James' Park pitch.
Everton provided Di Canio with his first home game in charge, and it was to be another heroic afternoon as a solid team performance coupled with a goal from Stephane Sessegnon saw the Black Cats pick up a precious victory that just about got them over the line and safe from relegation.
Two draws against Stoke and Southampton were enough to seal survival, and Sunderland lived to fight another day in the Premier League.
That summer saw a lot of change, with Roberto Di Fanti coming in as the director of football and with that came a new approach to transfers.
No fewer than 14 players came to the club that summer, with the most notable being Fabio Borini, Emanuelle Giaccherinni, Jozy Altidore, Vito Mannone and Duncan Watmore.
Unfortunately for the Italian at the helm, the form at the start of the 2013/14 season was poor and he was relieved of his duties after picking up just one point from the opening five games of the season.