GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Athletics Director Jeremy Foley announced Saturday that Jan Dowling is stepping down as the University of Florida's women's golf coach. Dowling informed Foley of her decision Friday and let the Florida team know following their final round of play at the NCAA Championships.
"It truly has been an honor to coach at the University of Florida for the past three seasons, and I want to thank Mr. Foley and the entire administration for this opportunity," Dowling said. "I am very proud of what these young women have accomplished, and feel very fortunate to be involved with such a great athletic association. My decision was extremely difficult, however, I have to make the right choices for my personal life too. I will cherish my time at Florida, and wish nothing but the very best for the future of the program and the entire athletic association.
Dowling just completed her third season as the head of the Florida women's golf program on Friday. The team made their second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships in 2012, finishing 12th overall. UF tied for 10th at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The Gators improved their Southeastern Conference finish each year under Dowling, taking fourth in the 2012 event.
Florida's Camilla Hedberg was named the 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year and Mia Piccio joined her on the 2012 All-SEC second team. Piccio, a 2011 All-SEC second team selection, also appeared on the 2011 Golfweek All-America honorable mention team. Isabelle Lendl earned All-SEC second team honors in Dowling's first season in 2009-10.
"I was surprised with Jan's decision, but I respect her decision to do what is best for her," Foley said. "We wish her the best in whatever her future holds."
Dowling came to UF after spending one season as an assistant coach at Duke University and two seasons as an assistant at Kent State University. She also played as a professional for almost three years before entering the collegiate coaching ranks.
A national search for the next Florida women's golf coach - the fifth in the program's 40-year history - begins immediately.