Dowling steps down as head coach at Florida

University of Florida head coach Jan Dowling, right, and Mia Piccio during the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship.

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Despite a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Women's Championship and significant growth in her three years at the helm, Jan Dowling announced she was stepping down as the head coach at the University of Florida on Saturday.

"I am very proud of what these young women have accomplished, and feel very fortunate to be involved with such a great athletic association," said Dowling. "My decision was extremely difficult, however, I have to make the right choices for my personal life too."

Dowling just completed her third year at UF, taking the Gators to two NCAA Championships and showing progress in SEC play, moving from 10th to 9th to 4th from 2010 through 2012.

"I was surprised with Jan's decision, but I respect her decision to do what is best for her," said Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley.

Dowling was previously an assistant coach at Duke and Kent State, while also playing professionally prior to her three coaching stints.

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