Ricky Stuart is likely to take over in the hot seat in 2013 after an in-principle agreement with the Eels.
For Kearney, he leaves the job with a smile on his face after a win against his former club, the Melbourne Storm, in his final game.
His legacy will loom large at Parramatta in years to come.
And ironically it will be the incoming coach that benefits.
Players such as Mitchell Allgood, Ryan Morgan, Joseph Paulo and Ken Sio have developed significantly under Kearney's coaching and will be primed for a big 2013.
As, too, will new Manly recruits Daniel Harrison, Darcy Lussick and (in 2014) Will Hopoate — all brought to the club by Kearney
A lasting legacy will be the Eels' Academy — the brainchild of Kearney. Established this year, the academy plays a big part in identifying and nurturing the current crop of elite stars and exposing the next generation to a NRL-standard work ethic.
Keep an eye on names such as Kelepi Tanginoa and Pauli Pauli — products of Kearney's academy in years to come.
Unfortunately for a coach it is the here and now that matters most. And Kearney didn't have the runs on the board.
However, he hasn't given up hope of coaching at the highest level again. "I've got the coach's disease. And it is a disease. You always want to be a coach," Kearney said.
"I know I've given it my all and given it my best. I've tried my hardest.
"If I've done that, I can walk away with a sense of dignity about it all."