Auburn coach Danielle Downey dies in car crash

Danielle Downey, the director of golf operations at Auburn, died Thursday night in a single-car accident in Auburn, Ala. She was 33.

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Danielle Downey, the director of golf operations at Auburn, died in a car crash Thursday night in Auburn, Ala.

Downey, 33, was pronounced dead in the emergency room of East Alabama Medical Center at 10:58 p.m., about an hour after the single-vehicle accident, according to a report on Al.com, which cited Lee County coroner Bill Harris.

The accident remains under investigation by the Alabama Highway Patrol, according to Al.com.

“I’m absolutely devastated,” Auburn head women’s coach Kim Evans said in a news release. “Danielle meant so much to me, the girls and this program. Not only did she give much of her life to Auburn as a student-athlete and as a mentor to these young women, but she was so instrumental to this team during some tough times over the past year. Danielle was like a daughter to me.”

Downey, a three-time All-American at Auburn and a former LPGA player, had stepped in during an emotionally difficult time for the women's program last season as Evans dealt with ovarian cancer. Under Downey, the 14th-seeded Tigers advanced out of the East Regional to the NCAAs. Auburn finished sixth at the NCAA Championship.

Evans recently has been attending practice regularly with Auburn, which enters the spring at No. 29 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

According to Auburn, Downey is survived by her parents, Mike and Phyllis Downey, and sisters Erica Setzer, Melissa Sage and Shawna Tomasso. Plans for a memorial service in Auburn are pending.

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