A host of big names led by AFL premiership coaches Alastair Clarkson and Chris Scott headline the list of possible targets as Collingwood's next full-time coach.
The embattled club on Wednesday confirmed it will part ways with Nathan Buckley - the Magpies' coach of almost 10 years - who will step down following the Queen's Birthday fixture against Melbourne.
And while the Magpies playing group grapples with the "shock" and "numb" feeling described by captain Scott Pendlebury, the club hierarchy is already turning its attention towards the future.
"We'll be talking to a whole range of people and certainly this (senior coach) is a really important role," chief executive Mark Anderson said.
"It's an important time and we need to make the right decision, and we'll do that, so we'll consider all options."
Geelong's flag-winner Scott and Hawthorn master coach Clarkson, a four-time premiership mentor, loom as the most attractive targets among the current coaches of rival clubs if Collingwood, as expected, chase an experienced replacement for Buckley.
But Scott offered little on Wednesday when asked about being linked to the Collingwood job.
"I would say that I am the Geelong coach," he told reporters at his weekly press conference.
Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is another possible high-profile contender for the vacant Collingwood role.
The 54-year-old, who took teams to grand finals in three separate seasons and boasts a 56.4 per cent winning record, was sacked by the Dockers in August 2019.
Lyon has since taken on football media roles, in which he has been asked about a return to coaching and not ruled it out.
Fellow former senior coaches Michael Voss, now an assistant at Port Adelaide, and Justin Leppitsch are potential Collingwood targets, while Sam Mitchell sits near the top of the list of untried options.
Mitchell, an assistant at Hawthorn and coach of VFL affiliate Box Hill, is widely seen as a natural successor to Clarkson.
But Mitchell is not yet locked in and could potentially be lured away from the Hawks with the offer of an immediate senior position.
Other highly rated assistants at rival clubs include Adam Kingsley (Richmond), Blake Caracella (Essendon) and former Collingwood midfield coach Scott Burns (Adelaide).
Buckley's current assistant Robert Harvey will take the reins on an interim basis from next week and the former St Kilda champion will almost certainly put his hand up for the full-time position.
"I can't speak highly enough of (Harvey's) credentials as a bloke and as a coach," Buckley said.
"I don't think he's really viewed in the right light (externally) in terms of his coaching capacity.
"He's a very good coach, very good strategically and builds enormously strong relationships across the width and breadth of the football program.
"He has the capacity to pull a program together in the short and medium terms.
"The club will go through its process but he's going to do great things in the second half of the year and we won't miss a beat."
Collingwood on Wednesday announced the selection process will be conducted by a five-person panel, led by Anderson and football manager Graham Wright.
Football director Paul Licuria and fellow board member Peter Murphy are also on the panel.
"This club has only had two coaches in its last 21 years, so from that perspective it's a really important decision," Wright said.
"We'll move onto that once we get through the next week or so."
The fifth member of the selection panel is yet to be appointed.
Collingwood said in a statement the fifth panel member will be someone with football experience who has previously been involved in the selection of senior coaches.