Florida women's golf coach resigns after 11 seasons
Jill Briles-Hinton, the former PGA Tour player who has spent the past 11 seasons as the head coach of the Florida women's golf team, abruptly resigned Monday night, saying someone else needed to take the program to the next level.
The resignation came just two days after the Florida women's team finished 16th at the NCAA East Regional, which the Gators hosted. Florida was the reigning East Regional champion.
Just last season, Briles-Hinton was named SEC Coach of the Year.
“I want to thank Jeremy Foley and the administration for this tremendous hands-on learning experience,'' Briles-Hinton said in a statement released by the athletic department late Monday night. "They took a chance on me and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to get on-the-job training at the University of Florida. The program is better off than when I started, but I feel it is time to step aside and let someone else take it from here. I enjoyed my time at Florida and now I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. I hope to get back into coaching someday and look forward to again helping young golfers achieve their dreams.”
A 1986 graduate of the University of Miami, Briles-Hinton took over the head coaching position at Florida in 1998. The Gators advanced to the NCAA Championships six of 11 years under Briles-Hinton, earning its best NCAA finish under Briles-Hinton - sixth - in 2006 and 2002.
She was named the 2008 SEC Coach of the Year after leading UF to the league title – the program’s eighth overall title and first since 1995. Florida claimed its first NCAA Regional title in 2008 with its one-stroke victory over top-seeded Duke.
"I accept Jill's decision because I believe she made it in the best interest of this program,'' UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "The women’s golf team has had some shining moments under Jill and the players have traditionally performed well in the classroom. We wish her well in her future ventures. Our vision is that the women’s golf team is consistently among the contenders at the NCAA Championships. That simply hasn’t happened and now we begin a search for a coach that shares that vision.”