Mickey Moran will not seek re-election as Derry senior football manager for the 2006 season.
The Maghera man, who took over from Eamonn Coleman in October 2002, led the Oak Leafers to the fourth round of this season's All-Ireland qualifiers before Laois defeated them.
It had been expected that Moran, who led Derry to the 1995 National Football League title in his first spell in charge, would put his name forward for nomination for 2006 after a progressive three years at the helm.
Former Derry Under-21 manager Liam Bradley, father of current inter-county stars Paddy and Eoin Bradley, and St Canice's boss Paddy Crozier are now favoured to replace Moran.
Slaughtneil supremo John Brennan, who ran Moran to a 9-8 vote last year, and Bellaghy's Chris Brown are also in the running.
A five-man committee will have the task of making a recommendation to the Derry county board.