DAVID Newett's stint as coach of the Bendigo Bank Pioneers has three games to go.
He informed players and staff of his decision to leave as coach before Wednesday night's training session at Epsom-Huntly Reserve.
"This was a tough decision to make," Newett said.
"The Pioneers is a great club to be part of. We (Newett family) have made a lot of friends here and coaching the club is a great challenge, but also a rewarding one."
The over-riding factor behind the decision to leave Bendigo was family.
Newett and wife Cathryn have two young daughters, Nina and Georgia.
"Being closer to family in Melbourne was important," he said of the decision to head back there after three years in Bendigo.
"Melbourne was home when we moved to the mainland," Newett said
"Family support is really important."
Bendigo Gold coach Aussie Jones said he wouldn't be applying for the Pioneers job.
"My wife Kate has been enormous for me in my time in Bendigo and now it's time for me to give back to her,'' Jones said.
"We'll be moving back to Melbourne once the Gold's season is finished."
AFL Victoria will advertise the coaching position. Pioneers regional manager Ray Byrne will be on the panel to select the new coach.
Newett had previously coached in Tasmania and l held roles at North Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs before he took charge of the Pioneers in 2012.
"Nothing is set in concrete," he said of a coaching role in 2015 and beyond.
Newett said a major goal when he took charge at the Pioneers was building a strong culture and team-first philosophy.
He was a key figure in building stronger links between the club and Bendigo Senior Secondary College's specialist sports program.
"As a club we have worked at creating the best opportunities for our players.
"For us it's not just about footy skills, but life skills.
"As a coach it's rewarding to see the development of all the players."
Newett said coaching was an intense commitment.
"Like any coach I would have liked a lot more wins and fewer losses.
"You learn a lot about yourself, especially when on the end of some big defeats.
"A win like last Sunday (against Northern Territory) makes it all the more enjoyable when you consider the effort put in by the players, coaches and staff."
The Pioneers are at home for this Saturday's clash with Eastern Ranges.