Shaun Wane insisted he did everything to prevent Pat Richards from leaving Wigan, after watching the Australian kick the Warriors to a 28-20 win at Hull.
The Warriors announced on the morning of the game that the 32-year-old would be returning to the Wests Tigers at the end of the season after eight years at Wigan.
He has scored almost 2,500 points and produced a faultless six-from-six display at Hull to guide Wigan to the top of the Super League table.
"He told me a couple of weeks ago that he was going and I really admire him,"
Wane said. "He's a good man who has done a lot of things that people don't know about behind the scenes at this club, things in team meetings and things like that.
"He's an outstanding individual. I wanted to give him a new deal - I don't want him to go.
"But his kids are at an age where they are ready to start school and his mind was made up. I have kids, I know what it's like, so I understand it. Paddy has loved it here but he wants to go."
On the game, he added: "I expected that, Hull are a good team who were never going to go away. That was the sort of game we needed, we needed a tough game and we got one.
"The players knew they were up against it, the conditions made it slower and I am happy with the win. We weren't at our best but ended up grinding out the win."
Hull's defeat was their first in five games, and coach Peter Gentle hit out at referee Richard Silverwood.
"I am extremely disappointed with the way the game was refereed and I will have plenty of questions for (referee boss) Steve Ganson this week," he said.
"I will have to choose my words very carefully, but everyone knows what they saw. I can't say what I saw. The boys tell me that their first try was a forward pass and that Josh Charnley didn't touch the ball down when he scored.
"I'm disappointed but the effort we put in.. I am proud of them but we're not happy to just get close to them. We're disappointed we didn't win but we have an improvement in us."