Dale McIntosh admitted it was a wrench to leave Pontypridd for his new role as Cardiff Blues defence coach but said he was excited about the challenge.
McIntosh spent 24 years with Ponty as player and coach and said: "A lot of thought went into accepting the offer and that is no disrespect to Blues.
"It's been very emotional for me, but that is life and you have to move on.
"The offer and excitement of this job, the magnitude of the club and the expectation is phenomenal."
He added: "This is a very talented squad and our job is to make sure that the talent, together with the ethics and passion goes on to the pitch.
"If it does then there is going to be a lot of success here."
McIntosh will start his new job on Monday and before that will be at Pontypridd's British & Irish Cup game against London Welsh on Saturday, rather than at
"We discussed it and I am a loyal character and it is the right thing to do.
"I have had a lot of support and I don't want supporters to think 'He didn't waste his time being out of here', although my heart will be at both games.
"It feels very similar to when I moved away from New Zealand with all my family back there.
"I feel my heart has been ripped out, but it has been replaced by the challenges which are coming up.
"Blues is the right place for me to be at this moment and there are going to be big things on the horizon."
Blues coach Phil Davies said: "I've known Dale for a long time as a player and a coach and have a lot of respect for him as a man and a rugby person.
"He was someone we looked at last year to come in when I first arrived, but those circumstances didn't allow it.
"Now he's here he will make a contribution there is no doubt.
"You hear the passion he has got for Pontypridd and I know the loyalty he has got there.
"But that will now be transferred to us and that is exciting for the players.
"I know I've got a guy I can stand shoulder to shoulder with and we can win and that's what we've been about from day one.
"We expect big things from him and I know he will deliver for us."