Peter Keane has released a statement in which he says that the Kerry senior footballers wanted him to stay on as manager of the side.
Keane was not kept on after the Munster champions lost to All-Ireland winners Tyrone in the semi-final.
The 50-year old from Cahirsiveen had won two Munster Senior Football Championships and two National League titles with the side.
The former St Mary’s player brought the side to an All-Ireland final in his first season, in which they lost to Dublin in the replay.
However, a shock loss to Cork in the Munster semi-final last year and failure to return to the biggest match in the sport has led to his downfall.
Jack O’Connor was announced to be Peter Keane’s replacement, returning for his third term in charge of the Kingdom.
In his statement, Peter Keane said: “It has been a real honour for me to have been involved with the Kerry set-up over the last decade – from Development Squad level, to managing both the minor and senior football teams.
“It was great to work with so many of our talented young footballers. To watch their progression – showing potential from young players in developing squads was a privilege. To be able to guide them to make the step up to minor level and then onto senior level has been hugely rewarding.
“Unfortunately, losing the semi-final by one point in extra time to the eventual All-Ireland winners, led to a decision to end the work we had started and the momentum we had built.
“I know the players very much wanted us to continue with our project. They were the reason I wanted to stay. We were a united Kerry team with a great sense of purpose and ambition.
“All the players communicated to the County Board sub-committee their strong preference for the present management to be retained. It’s most disappointing that their wishes do not appear to have been considered in the decision-making process.”
He added: “The players are a credit to their families, partners, clubs, and communities. I wish them every success in the future as they start out again.
“It has been a very tough time for everyone over the last while. During my term, we had two very unusual GAA seasons. It was fantastic to start seeing fans back at games again. I will now re-join the Kerry supporters in the stands and the terraces, and I want to thank all the wonderful Kerry supporters who have given us such fantastic backing over the years.
“I would also like to pay tribute to all those who have been involved in the backroom teams at minor and senior level over the past six years – especially James Foley, Maurice Fitzgerald, and Tommy Griffin. There are too many others to mention but they all know how much I appreciated their input and friendship.
“I’d especially like to thank my wife Siobhan and my three boys for giving me their unwavering and unbelievable support.