North Queensland are keen for Josh Hannay to stay at the NRL club despite choosing Todd Payten to be their new fulltime head coach ahead of their interim.
Payten was confirmed on Friday as the Cowboys' new coach on a three-year deal, pipping several candidates for the position including Hannay.
Cowboys chief executive Jeff Reibel says Hannay, who debuted for the club as an 18-year-old in 1998, is disappointed to be overlooked but hopes he stays at the club under Payten.
"Josh is one of us. Josh is a Cowboy. He played here. He coached here and I can tell you the opinion of our club has done nothing but rise since he's taken over as interim coach," Reibel said.
"Josh is contracted to our club, we want him at our club. And we will continue down that path."
The decision to go with Payten - a former assistant under Paul Green from 2015 to 2018 - was made in part after his impressive caretaker stint with the Warriors this year.
While Hannay has been unable to get a win in his five matches in charge of the Cowboys, Payten has kept the Warriors in finals contention after four wins from their past five matches.
That performance is despite the New Zealand club being based in Australia since May due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Reibel said a five-man selection panel, including Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston, had been impressed by Peyton as a coach and due to his previous links to the club.
"There is no doubt that he's shown that he has the capabilities of being a first grade coach," Reibel said.
Payton will complete the 2020 season with the Warriors before moving to the Cowboys in November.
The 41-year-old, who scored a try in Wests Tigers 2005 grand final win over the Cowboys, said despite the club enduring its worst campaign in over a decade he is bullish about what he can achieve.
"I see a huge amount of upside within the Cowboys organisation and it is my job to see that eventuate into results on the field," Payten said.
"Developing the players within the club to be good footballers and good men along with playing a style of football our members and supporters can be proud of will be my main focus."
Reibel confirmed Hannay would stay on as the Cowboys' interim coach for the 14th-placed team's four remaining fixtures of 2020 including Sunday's match against St George Illawarra.
Peyton knocked back an offer to take on the Warriors' job full-time due to a desire to live in Australia to support his ill father-in-law.
Warriors chief executive Cameron George was pleased for Payten and said the club remained hopeful of a strong finish to 2020 before parting ways.
"He is doing a terrific job with our team and we're proud of what he, the players and the staff have been achieving," George said.
"I know Todd is as committed and focused as ever to fulfilling his role with us."