‘Gold Rush’ Shocker: Rick Ness Leaves Parker Schnabel And Replaces Todd Hoffman As New Season 9 Mine Boss

Discovery Channel

Gold Rush fans are sending out heartfelt congratulations to Schnabel crew foreman Rick Ness. On the Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail preview, Ness told his boss/pal that he is going to go out on his own for Season 9, taking the “opportunity of a lifetime.”

According to a tweet from the official Gold Rush Twitter account, Rick Ness will now be replacing Todd Hoffman as the new mine boss of his own operation in a Gold Rush shocker.

This has clearly been the best of times and the worst of times for the fan favorite Rick Ness. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Rick’s mother passed away on Tuesday from brain cancer.

Now, the announcement that he has fulfilled a career goal by moving up the gold mining ladder and running his own claim has brought with it a bittersweet week of emotions to this star’s personal life.

Always the optimist, Ness went to Twitter to express his joy at the new opportunity.

“#NewMineBoss can you believe it?! So stoked for this season..”

Discovery certainly had a lot of options for replacing Todd Hoffman. They could have promoted Freddy Dodge, brought back Dave Turin, moved The Dakota Boys from their White Water show to Gold Rush, or even persuaded Hunter Hoffman to run his own claim.

Yet, the hard-working, upbeat, former musician, sleeveless wonder that is Rick Ness was clearly the obvious choice to become the new mine boss.

How will this affect Rick’s relationship with Parker Schnabel? In a recent interview with PopCulture, Rick spoke about his relationship with Parker, and the difficulty it was for Schnabel to be both a boss and a friend on the claim, especially after so many heated exchanges in Season 8 of Gold Rush.

“I don’t think Parker knows how to be a boss and a friend.”

Ness admitted it would be a “tough thing” to “draw the line.” He contends that “when it’s your money on the line” it is a “stressful thing.”

Perhaps now that they are not always working together, they can just focus on being friends? The two have been certainly been a dynamic team, mining over 6,000 ounces of gold last year.

He credits “work ethic” as the reason for their astounding success. Ness admitted that in six months, he only took a few days off.

And what about Parker Schnabel? First Parker and girlfriend Ashley Youle split, now Schnabel loses foreman Ness, who will now run his own operation.

Parker blames himself for the failure of the two-year relationship with the Aussie veterinary nurse.


During Season 8, Parker was clearly conflicted when dealing with Rick. When Rick went off and did things without consulting with Parker, Parker was obviously angry and let Rick know in not so many words that in a normal job situation, these sorts of actions could get someone “fired.”

While Parker has always been at the top of his game finding gold, dealing with people has always been something he has needed to work on. His beloved late grandfather John Schnabel often would coach Parker on how to deal with others. This still appears to be a life lesson for the talented miner.


When Todd Hoffman made the announcement on February 16 that he was leaving Gold Rush, Parker Schnabel and fans of the Discovery show may not have seen the domino effect that Todd’s departure would make. Season 8 of Gold Rush may have just ended, but Season 9 promises to have a lot of interesting competition between the two best pals, and of course, the Beets crew.