Alastair Clarkson has ruled himself out of coaching Carlton, saying he will definitely take next season off rather than going "flat out" again in the AFL.
The four-time Hawthorn premiership coach said he spoke to new Blues chief executive Brian Cook at the weekend.
Clarkson's confirmation means former Brisbane senior coach and current Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss is the short-priced favourite to take over at Carlton.
"I need a spell - I've only got two gears, that's flat-out or stop," Clarkson told AFL360 on Monday night.
"I'm just not ready to go flat-out again right now."
The embattled Blues pulled out off a major coup on Friday night when they lured Cook, the highly respected former Geelong and West Coast chief executive, to take over the role.
That immediately ramped up speculation again that the Blues could yet land Clarkson.
Clarkson admitted there was a strong lure to put his hand up to take over at Carlton or Collingwood, who have appointed Craig McRae.
But it was not strong enough and Clarkson said he has three objectives next year - to commit more to family and friends, hopefully study abroad and put something back into the game.
In terms of the third goal, it was revealed at the weekend that Clarkson will lend his expertise to the Tasmanian push for their own AFL team.
"I couldn't respect two clubs greater than Collingwood and Carlton," he said.
"The lure to coach those clubs is sitting there right in front of your face - do you want to put your hand up?
"But it wasn't strong enough to overpower my thinking in terms of what my family and I need right now, and that's a 12-month spell.
He suspects by July or August next year, he will want to coach again - but added there are no guarantees.
Clarkson is also acutely aware of his stunning backflip at Hawthorn, when he committed to a coaching succession plan with Sam Mitchell and then announced he was leaving the club only a few days later.
"I don't want to backflip again - there's an element of trust and looking people in the eye," he said.
Clarkson's confirmation came as Cameron Bruce left the Blues on Monday to join Brisbane.
His departure means none of David Teague's senior assistant coaches are left at Carlton, leaving the new coach to pick his own team.
Teague was sacked last month following a review of the Carlton football department.
On Monday, Fox Sports reported only a backflip from Clarkson would prevent the Blues from appointing Voss as their new coach.
Former Brisbane coach Voss, who is Ken Hinkley's senior assistant at Port Adelaide, has been vying with Richmond assistant Adam Kingsley and Essendon's Daniel Giansiracusa for the Blues' top job.
High-profile former senior coaches Ross Lyon, Brad Scott and Nathan Buckley are already out of the race.
Apart from Bruce, senior assistant John Barker departed in June, while Dale Amos and Brent Stanton were cut loose at the same time as Teague.
Bruce will reunite with Chris Fagan at Brisbane after the pair worked together with Clarkson during the Hawks' hat-trick of premierships from 2013 to 2015.
The 41-year-old will coach the Lions' midfield group under Fagan.
Australian Associated Press