He was reportedly on a shortlist to become the next France head coach and he has been repeatedly linked with the England job as and when Eddie Jones departs. "Being head coach is incredibly special and something I'm proud of".
"My understanding is Eddie [Jones] is going to re-sign for a bit longer".
The 55-year-old New Zealander will take up the role from August 1 in 2020.
Lions managing director Ben Calveley described Gatland as a "world-class coach" with a "proven track record" who "knows the Lions better than anyone else now coaching in world rugby".
After that tour he said: "I'm done, I hated the tour".More news: 2nd Ebola patient dies in Uganda, health ministry says
"I want to go back". The challenge for me as the head coach is to go undefeated in a Test series.
Warren Gatland has "categorically" ruled out coaching England.
"I'm hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again", said Gatland.
The tour of South Africa will be even more condensed - from 10 matches to eight and over five weeks rather than six - but in beginning the role next August, Gatland has more time to influence preparations and significantly, the chance to appoint his coaching team early.
"When I reflected back on New Zealand the hospitality we had there; the atmosphere in the games was incredible".More news: Klay Thompson Carried to Locker Room with Knee Injury During Game 6
"Yeah absolutely", he said. We've discussed about the potential of not having a midweek game before the first test. And so, with that in mind, thoughts now turn to who he might pick. "We're having discussions around that sort of thing". Ideally you want someone to be coming from a successful team.
Pivac will take over from New Zealand compatriot Warren Gatland after the 2019 Rugby World Cup tournament ends in October.
It is also likely to run from July into August - the latest in the year of any Lions tour - following changes to the global calendar that take the European domestic seasons through to late June and give him only three weeks with the players before the first tour game.
This suggests that it will not be the same as the previous two tours for the Welsh players.
"I know it'll be tough, it will be a real rugby hotbed".More news: Pelosi says she's 'done' with Trump after latest insults
"Being a part of the Lions is an opportunity to go to South Africa and finish some unfinished business". If I was able to achieve that, and the squad were able to achieve that, it would be something pretty special. "We had the All Blacks and the Lions intermingled and with Sam Warburton and Kieran Read holding the trophy aloft and that's now one of the most iconic rugby photos of all time".