Leigh captain Mick Higham tried to persuade head coach Paul Rowley to stay on at the club after he had resigned.
Rowley departed the Centurions in a shock move on the eve of the Championship season.
Skipper Higham admitted the coach’s exit was a surprise.
“He’s got his reasons for it and I totally respect that,” he told Love Rugby League.
“You don’t know the pressures some people go through, at home or whatever, it could be anything. You respect his decision.
“We made it known that we didn’t want him to go, we tried to persuade him to come back at one stage but I think his mind was made up.”
Rowley became head coach of Leigh in 2012 and led the club to a grand final wins in 2014 and a Championship Cup in 2013.
In 2013 the 40-year old was named Championship coach of the year.
Higham said it would be a shame to see Rowley not involved in rugby league.
“He’s a great British young coach and for me personally, he’s someone who should be involved in the game,” the hooker said.
“He has got a lot to offer. Stuff I learnt off him last year, he’s got a lot of really good systems in place and play that not a lot of other teams play like.
“We like to throw the ball around, whether it’s on your line or their line. He encourages you to play. It would be a waste if he didn’t get back into coaching.”
However, Higham doesn’t think Rowley will be in a rush to take his next coaching job.
“He’ll probably take a few months off,” the 35-year old said.
“I texted him the other day and asked him what he was doing, he said I’m probably going to back a cake today. I said you’ll be back soon.
“No, I wish him all the best. I’ll definitely keep in touch with him and still pick his brain on a few things.
“It’s a sad time but these things happen and we’ll move on.”