SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — The Football Association of Wales says Chris Coleman has quit as national team coach after six years to return to club management.

The announcement on Friday followed reports by media, including the BBC, that Coleman is to take charge of English second-tier club Sunderland.

The former Fulham manager led Wales to the 2016 European Championship semifinals in the country's first appearance at a tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

Coleman couldn't build on that feat by leading Wales to the World Cup in Russia next year, falling short in qualifying in the last act of his six-year reign.

FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford says "we wish Chris the very best of luck for the future as he returns to club management, a desire for which he has always been honest and open about."

The Sunderland job has been vacant since Simon Grayson was fired more than two weeks ago.

Sunderland is bottom of the League Championship with 10 points from 16 games. The northeast club was relegated from the Premier League in May.