Matt Williams is happy with Ulster's progression while he was in charge
Matt Williams stepped down as coach of Ulster on Wednesday night because of family reasons.
The former Leinster and Scotland coach, who took over the Ulster post from Mark McCall in December 2007, is returning home to Australia.
"I have a young family in Sydney and it has become clear that I need to give them more of my time," said Williams.
Ulster have struggled under Williams and the Irish side finished eighth in the Magners League this season.
Williams told BBC Sport on Friday that he would still be in charge at Ravenhill next season.
In a statement Williams said he was leaving Ulster by mutual consent.
Williams believes the team has progressed during his time at Ravenhill and he forecasts a successful future for Ulster.
"I am delighted with the progress of the Ulster players - the team is still in the very early days of their development," he added.
"They have won some excellent victories. There were outstanding performances in this year's Heineken Cup and the win against Harlequins and the defeat of Munster at Thomond Park in the Magners League are the stand out matches.
"We lost too many close games due to our inexperience but that will change with time.
"There needs to be patience and understanding that this team will grow into a powerful outfit in years to come. I am deeply disappointed that I will not be there with them on the journey.
"From Stephen Ferris, Paddy Wallace and Rory Best through to Darren Cave, Ian Whitton, David Pollock and Niall O'Connor, I was privileged to coach Ulster and witness the potential of their talent.
"I have enjoyed every day here in Ulster and am deeply sorry to leave in these circumstances. I will be watching out for them next season, but from Australia."