Jan Dowling was named head women’s coach at Florida, the university announced Monday.
Characterized as “fast-rising coaching talent” by UF athletic director Jeremy Foley, Dowling spent just one season as an assistant at Duke and two seasons as an assistant at Kent State.
“Florida’s had success developing young, gifted coaches and Jan certainly fits that model,” Foley said. “She is confident that she can lead this program and recruit talented student-athletes to Florida.”
Dowling, 28, replaces Jill Briles-Hinton, who resigned in May after 11 seasons with the Gators. After winning five team titles, including the SEC Championship and NCAA East Regional in 2007-08, Florida failed to advance out of the East Regional on their home course this spring and dropped to No. 32 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings to end ’09.
“There are currently a lot of talented players at Florida and we are going to create a team atmosphere to build on this and get the program back into national championship contention year in and year out,” Dowling said.
A 2002 graduate of Kent State, Dowling becomes the fourth women’s golf coach in UF history.
Under the direction of Blue Devils head coach Dan Brooks, Dowling helped lead Duke to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in May. In the fall, Dowling led Duke to a victory at the NGCA National Match Play Championship while Brooks was out with a health issue.
Dowling competed on the Duramed Futures Tour from 2003-05 before joining Kent State as an assistant. The Golden Flashes maintained a top-25 ranking during her two years in Kent, Ohio. In addition to her duties with the women’s team, Dowling assisted the men’s team during the 2008 postseason, in which the Golden Flashes finished sixth at the NCAA Championships, its highest finish in school history.
As a player at Kent State, Dowling won the MAC Championship twice (1999, 2000) and was the 2000 MAC Player of the Year. She also was named to the NGCA Division I All-Scholar Athlete Team. In 2007, Dowling was the first women’s golfer to be honored in Kent State’s hall of fame.
The Bradford, Ontario, native also participated in the Golf Channel’s reality TV series “Big Break” in 2005.