The men's coaching carousel finally started moving this past weekend with Charlotte taking the interim tag off Adam Pry on Friday and Ohio State naming Donnie Darr to replace the retiring Jim Brown on Saturday. Now, the women's side is beginning to see movement as the Florida just named Jan Dowling, most recently the assistant coach at Duke, to oversee the women's golf program in Gainesville.
At first blush, Dowling seems a bit of a surprise pick for the Gators job. A 2002 graduate of Kent State, the Branford, Ontario, native has just three years experience as an assistant (the first two at her alma mater) and none as a head coach (although she did an admirable job filling in for Dan Brooks last fall when he was missing in action due to illness).
At the same time, hiring young, up-and-coming coaches has been Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley's modus operandi in recent years. According to the Florida athletic department, Dowling becomes the 12th different current Gator coach to enter her first season at UF with five or fewer previous years as a collegiate head coach. (Also on that list is football coach Urban Meyer and men's basketball coach Billy Donovan, both of whom have subsequently won two national championships.)
"Throughout this search, Jan Dowling's name kept coming up as a fast-rising coaching talent," said Foley. "She has solid credentials as a player and as a coach. Florida's had success developing young, gifted coaches, and Jan certainly fits that model. Jan loves coaching and loves the game of golf. She is confident that she can lead this program and recruit talented student-athletes to Florida. We believe that Jan will be very successful at Florida."