After what was described as a heated first board meeting hosted by new chair Ian Beattie, both Coates and Symington announced their decisions to walk away with immediate effect from tenures beset by infighting.
It reached a crux point at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich last month when leading British athletes raised their concerns for the plight of the sport in the UK to World Athletics president Seb Coe.
It came following reports of cuts to coaches, including those of some of Britain’s leading lights, and is the latest negativity to have blighted UKA.
There was the scandal over the previously appointed CEO in Zara Hyde Peters, who resigned before beginning the role over serious safeguarding issues. UKA was also criticised by the Street review, an independent investigation launched by UK Sport which reached its conclusions midway through last year.
It leaves UKA and the sport once again having to rebuild itself after a worst Olympic performance since Atlanta in 1996, which instigated the launch of National Lottery funding.
Beattie will lead that rebuild with Mark Munro, who steps up from his role as UKA development director to interim CEO for six months.
And it is hoped faith from athletes can be restored – many questioned the fact that the first they heard about the announcement on Thursday was via social media – with the potential return of Stephen Maguire, who had previously left the organisation after missing out on the head coach position to Malcolm.
Symington has walked straight into a new role at British Cycling, the announcement made moments after her UKA departure and raising eyebrows within the sport.
One athlete, Tom Bosworth, who recently missed out on the latest round of athlete funding, responded with “wow” and a snake emoji.
He added: “Let’s make it clear this performance director said hello to me once outside a lift on a camp, that gave her enough knowledge that I wasn’t good enough to match their standards! Why aren’t NGBs held to the same standards as the athletes! Total disgrace.”
Munro will be among the candidates as CEO long-term but there has also been a push for Jack Buckner, whose reputation has been buoyed by the resurgence of British Swimming, where he is the current CEO.
Whatever the appointment, UKA faces a painful reconstruction, this time the hope being it is without controversy.