Following a distinguished playing career at all four levels of English football with Preston, Wimbledon and QPR, Ainsworth began his coaching career at Wycombe Wanderers in a player-coach role in 2011, having earned legendary status in his final years as a player.
The former QPR caretaker boss was handed the reins at Adams Park in September that year and steered the club away from relegation before hanging up his boots after his 600th career appearance against Port Vale.
Financial restraints contributed to a testing 2013/14 on but Ainsworth successfully kept the Wanderers in the Football League thanks to a final day victory, and followed it up with an outstanding campaign which culminated in a play-off final at Wembley, having achieved the club’s best ever points tally in the Football League with 84.
Ainsworth was named the LMA League Two Manager of the Year for his efforts, and also won the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Montseash prize in April, before going on to lead his side to an FA Cup third round replay against Aston Villa and a mid-table finish in the 2015/16 campaign.
2016/17 was another memorable campaign; playing out an FA Cup classic at White Hart Lane against Spurs in the fourth round, narrowly losing 4-3. There was also a Checkatrade Trophy semi-final appearance vs Coventry City, and in the league the Chairboys missed out on a play-off spot by a point in a tightly contested race which went down to the final day.
Ainsworth's first promotion as a manager was to come in 2017/18, as the Chairboys clinched League One football and a third place finish with 84 points. The automatic promotion was sealed at Chesterfield on Saturday 28th April in a 2-1 win for Wanderers.