Chiefs coach Colin Cooper steps down and is planning to spend time with his family
Last Updated: 27/06/19 7:07am
Colin Cooper has resigned as head coach of Super Rugby's Chiefs, opting not to see out the final season of a three-year deal.
Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins said on Thursday he had been in discussions with Cooper for several weeks, allowing a search for a new coach to begin "discreetly" while this season's campaign continued.
The Chiefs were beaten 21-16 by Argentina's Jaguares in the quarter-finals last weekend in Buenos Aires.
In a statement Cooper said: "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
"The role of the head coach has evolved so much over the past five or six years.
"My passion is hands-on, on-the-field coaching but with bigger playing numbers and more staff involved these days, I am getting taken further and further away from my passion.
"So I will take some time out with my family and discuss our future."
Collins said: "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.
"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."