Colin Cooper has resigned as Chiefs coach in order to spend time with his family, the Super Rugby franchise announced today.
Cooper had sought an early release from the Chiefs for the last year of his contract having coached the team for the past two seasons.
Cooper said he had been proud to develop both players and coaches during his time with the Chiefs.
"I believe the team and the club are bigger than the individual and the club comes first. With next year the start of a new World Cup cycle, I believe it is the right time to step aside. There is a good crew of players and staff here who are committed to carrying the club forward," Cooper said.
"Developing young players and coaches for the future of New Zealand rugby is something I'm very passionate about, and I’m proud and grateful to have been a part of that with the Gallagher Chiefs."
"For now, my focus is to complete our season review, and then my priority is to spend time with my whanau, and moko who are continuing to grow."
Under Cooper, the Chiefs reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 and 2019 Super Rugby competitions with their season ending last week with a loss to the Jaguares in Argentina.
Chiefs CEO Michael Collins said he had been in discussion with Cooper for several weeks so that the franchise could begin their recruitment process.
"We are grateful to Coops for his outstanding leadership and coaching at the Gallagher Chiefs. He is a proud man who set an incredibly high bar in terms of personal standards and behaviour, both on and off the field," Collins said.
"We are really proud of the culture he has fostered inside our club and team environment, and he can be proud of what he has achieved with the Gallagher Chiefs."