GOLD RUSH Rick Ness replaces Todd Hoffman as mine boss for Season 9

Rick Ness new mine boss on Gold Rush

Last month it was revealed that Gold Rush OG Todd Hoffman and his mining crew would not be returning for Gold Rush Season 9 and that Discovery was planning on replacing Todd with another mine boss. After much speculation over who that might be, the network revealed this week that it will be someone fans are very familiar with — Parker Schnabel’s ex crew foreman Rick Ness!

After the official announcement, Rick took to Twitter to share his excitement:

The network’s announcement came in conjunction with the upcoming premiere of the second season of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail in which Parker, Rick, and a few others head to Guyana in search of gold. In the first episode of the second season, Rick breaks the news to Parker that he plans to go out on his own next season. The network used part of that scene as a preview clip that partnered with their announcement that Rick would be featured as a mine boss on the next season of Gold Rush.

The full Season 2 premiere episode of Parker’s Trail is currently available on — with Rick and Parker’s scene about Rick going out on his own happening in the last six minutes. The moment is pretty much as emotional as it could get considering how emotion-averse these manly miners are. And thankfully, Rick’s news didn’t trigger Parker’s trademark anger, but instead it was a bittersweet conversation brimming with friendship and mutual respect.

“I’m going out mining on my own,” Rick says flatly.

Parker seems taken aback by the news. “I owe you a lot man, like, I owe you a lot,” he says.

“I don’t want this to ruin this trip,” Rick says of their pending Guyana adventure. “If it does, if you wanted to bail, I’d understand as well.”

“No, not at all,” Parker insists. “Not at all, no. I just, um –” Parker tries to find the right words to say. “I completely get it. If I were in your shoes, I’d be looking at doing the same exact thing, so it’s hard for me to sit here and be mad. And I’ve done as much as I can to do that exact thing. You have taken a lot of sh*t over the last six years, and there’s been plenty of times where I look back and, boy, you could have walked away. Easily justified, and [BLEEP], you’re a, I mean, you are, by far, the hardest worker out of any of these groups.

Rick responds: “I’m just trying to better myself, right?”

“And I am never going to fault somebody for that,” Parker asserts.

Rick then expresses his appreciation for the chance that Parker took in hiring him and sticking with him. “You know, you gave me a shot six years ago that, you know, you really never had to stand by me. I didn’t know sh*t at all, right?”

“That goes both ways,” Parker half jokes.

Rick laughs too. “Well… And you did stand by me and you did give me a lot of shots, and I will forever be grateful for that. But I think it is time for me to move on.”

Gold Rush Rick Ness leaving Parker Schnabel mining crew

“You know you’ve always been a good fit because you’ve tried to do your f**king best, and this will be no different,” Parker says of his former right hand man. “I know you will try to do your best.”

Both Parker and Rick share a laugh before then sharing a beer.

The scene cuts to just Parker talking about Rick’s announcement. “It was quite the bombshell, him telling me he’s not coming back next year,” Parker admits. “And I really respect and appreciate him for letting me know that now. But what really makes me OK with this is that, you know, is that we can walk away friends, and hopefully we will be friends for the rest of our lives.”

Parker Schnabel quote about Rick Ness leaving

Of course, the jungles of Guyana might have something to say about that! 😉

Although the announcement that he will be running his own mining operation and will officially be one of four mine bosses on an extremely popular docu-series like Gold Rush was clearly great news for Rick, this all happens on the heels of some very sad news for him. Rick announced last week that his mother had passed away after her battle with cancer:

Rick was asked about his mother’s health in an interview with Monsters & Critics in February. “She’s doing well right now,” Rick said at the time. “Ultimately, she’s gone through all the treatment that she can and the cancer’s still there. The prognosis isn’t good, but as of right now she’s doing good.”

And in January, Rick tweeted a photo to celebrate his mother’s 55th birthday:

I assume that the public announcement by Discovery came months after Rick found out, so I hope that he was able to share the great news with his mother — who was apparently a big fan of the show. “Oh, she loves it,” Rick told Monsters & Critics. “She likes to tell me I’m looking soft down there because I haven’t been hitting the gym as much as I used to, but she loves watching it. When I’m up there visiting her, she makes me take her out and she likes to show me off. She loves it.”

Congratulations to Rick! I am genuinely curious to see how he handles being the boss. I’m as big a fan of “The Rick Ness Monster” as anyone, but I don’t know if he has dem managerial skillz down pat yet. I suppose we will all see how well he does when Gold Rush Season 9 premieres! Until then, be sure to check out Rick and Parker dodging tarantulas and malaria as they navigate the jungles of Guyana trying to do what Todd Hoffman was an epic failure at with new episodes of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail airing Friday nights at 9/8c on Discovery!

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