Joe Schmidt is said to have turned down an approach from the All Blacks last year.
New Zealand Rugby head Steve Tew has told the New Zealand Herald that the Irish boss rejected an offer to join Steve Hansen's backroom staff.
It's understood the role would have seen Schmidt work alongside assistant coach Ian Foster, with the view that one would be promoted to the top job once Hansen moved on.
Schmidt has announced he will leave the sport to prioritise his family after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
He said: "I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the RWC in 2019."