Gerald Goodman resigned Tuesday as tournament director of the Transitions Championship, the bay area's PGA Tour stop.
Goodman, who turns 54 on Thursday, has been tournament director for professional tournaments at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor for 15 years. His interim replacement is Ron Campbell, former president of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum.
The announcement was made by Copperhead Charities, which oversees the tournament played each March at Innisbrook.
"Gerald has been an integral part of the success of this event for many years," Bob Banks, general chairman of the Copperheads, said in a release. "We appreciate all that he has done to build this event into one of the premier PGA Tour stops in the country and wish him the best in his new endeavors."
When contacted Tuesday afternoon, Goodman said he could not comment. Transitions Optical president Brett Craig did not return calls Tuesday evening.
Campbell, 54, is a Copperheads board member and has been chairman of the event's sales committee the past two years.
He said Goodman's resignation was "very much a surprise to me. I don't know the details of how it happened. I was asked by the board to step in and keep things running smoothly. I have experience in this and that's exactly what I plan to do.''
Campbell was the Lightning's president from 1999 until August 2008, when he became a senior adviser. He was instrumental in making the St. Pete Times Forum one of the nation's busiest arenas.
Campbell, who also works for a financial lending group in Tampa, said he plans to be the director when the next tournament is held March 14-20, 2011. He is unsure beyond that.
"I'm sure the chairman has 10 resumes on his desk already,'' Campbell said. "We'll have to see. I haven't really thought much about it.''
Goodman had been tournament director since 1995, when it was a mixed team event with PGA and LPGA players. In 2000, it became a PGA event. For the next several years there was trouble with title sponsorship. There was no title sponsor in the first few years, when it was called the Tampa Bay Classic. Chrysler Corporation lent its name from 2003-06 and PODS came in for 2007 and '08 when the tournament moved to a coveted March date.
Since the move to March, the Transitions Championship has enjoyed a stellar field with some marque winners like Jim Furyk (2010), Retief Goosen ('09) and Sean O'Hair ('08). One big name that has never played at Innisbrook's PGA event is Tiger Woods.
Transitions Optical signed a four-year deal in June of 2008 to be the title sponsor.