Richards to step down as women's coach at Texas
Martha Richards, the head women's coach at Texas for the past seven seasons, announced Friday that she will step down at the end of the 2013-14 season, citing health-related concerns.
Richards led the Longhorns to five NCAA Championship appearances in her first six seasons as head coach, as well as a Big 12 Conference title in 2011.
"As a two-time cancer survivor, however, I have a made a health-related decision with my team of physicians to leave the coaching profession at the end of the spring season. Although I am 100 percent capable and willing to continue coaching, we have determined it is in the best interest of my health in the long term to step away from coaching," said Richards, who was head coach at Vanderbilt from 2000 to '07. "To continue to place my body - specifically my adrenal and immune systems - under the stresses involved with continued coaching beyond this season is not conducive to the healthy lifestyle we are striving to maintain for me.
"I'm happy to say that I am cancer-free to this day and in no immediate danger where my health is concerned, but the longevity and cumulative effect of the coaching profession is not advisable."
Texas finished no better than 13th in four fall tournaments and enters the spring season at No. 64 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
“We appreciate the difficulty of Martha's decision. She's been involved in intercollegiate athletics since she was 18 years old and has coached since age 25," said Chris Plonsky, the women's athletic director at Texas. "That's a long-term connection not easily cut away, but she's appropriately weighed and prioritized the importance of being able to perform at the highest level when you're feeling your very best."
Richards was an NGCA All-American in 1993 at Stanford, was named to the Pac-10 All-Decade Team for the 1990s and played on the LPGA tour in 1995 and 1996.
As a coach, Richards led Vanderbilt to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championship, as well as a fifth-place result in 2004.