Inaugural Hawthorn AFLW coach Bec Goddard has announced her shock retirement.

Goddard, a trailblazer of female football, confirmed she'd be stepping away from her role as the Hawks' mentor on Friday afternoon.

After arriving at Waverley in 2019 as the club's VFLW coach, Goddard went on to play a significant role in helping secure Hawthorn's AFLW licence.

Goddard was then appointed as the club's first AFLW senior coach in 2021 and has since guided the Hawks through their first pair of campaigns.

Before her Hawthorn tenure, Goddard coached the Adelaide Crows women in 2017 and 2018, which included winning the inaugural AFLW premiership in 2017.

Hawthorn CEO Ashley Klein lauded Goddard for her immeasurable contribution to Hawks, as well as labelling her a "pioneer" of the AFLW.

"There's no doubting the enormous impact Bec has made at our club, her legacy as Hawthorn's inaugural AFLW Senior Coach is one that won't be forgotten," Klein said in a Friday afternoon club statement.

"Along with being a pioneer of the competition, Bec has been a trailblazer for our AFLW program, and we want to thank her enormously for her passion, enthusiasm, and dedication."

Hawthorn football boss Rob McCartney echoed Klein's sentiments towards Goddard and detailed the Hawks' next steps regarding their next AFLW senior coach.

"We remain committed to investing and developing our next generation of talent to align with the club's strategic priority in creating an elite AFLW program. We will get to work to recruit a new AFLW Senior Coach immediately.

"When we look back at Bec's time at the club, she will be a part of so many of our first important moments. Bec will always be a special part of the Hawthorn fabric, and we wish her and her partner Shanrah the very best for the future."

Goddard issued a statement after her departure was confirmed.

"Having been a life-long Hawthorn supporter, it was a dream come true to lead the club as its first AFLW Senior Coach," Goddard said on Friday.

"I've been very fortunate to work with an incredible group of players, coaches, and staff across the past two seasons, and I would like to thank all of them for their support, love and care.

"The time is right for the club and myself to embark upon new directions, and I leave Hawthorn proud of everything we achieved."