The Minnesota women’s golf team took a double hit Monday afternoon. Hours after the team was notified it hadn’t made the NCAA regional tournament, coach Kathy Williams told her team she won’t be returning next season.
“I had to make the decision,” Williams said. “There’ve been rumors flying around and I didn’t want anybody on the team hearing about it that way.”
Williams, whose resignation is effective June 30, is quitting to work full time with Golf Schools Fore Women, a teaching school which she co-owns.
Williams said breaking the news to her team was hard on everyone.
“We go through a team meeting, and at the end I said, `I have some bad news,'” Williams said. “They’re all in a state of shock.”
Senior Donna Boom admitted to being taken aback by the news.
“I’m surprised, but at the same time, it’s a great opportunity for her,” Boom said.
Williams plans on expanding her Midwest golf school to a national level.
“We’re going into other cities with LPGA pros teaching other women,” Williams said. “For me, it’s starting something and seeing something grow.”
Williams said one of her golfers will be involved in the search for a new coach.
“Eight years ago we were thrilled to bring back All-American Kathy Williams as our golf coach,” women’s athletics director Chris Voelz said in a press release Monday. “Today, though, we are sad to see her go.”
The departure of Williams could cast a sizable shadow over the remainder of the Gophers’ season, which concludes with this weekend’s Big Ten tournament.
“I don’t think it will have much effect on the team,” Boom said. “But it will have more of an effect on her and us, the four seniors, afterward. It’ll be a very emotional tournament. It’s our last hurrah.”
It will be Minnesota’s last tournament because they missed an NCAA regional bid.
There are only four teams in the NCAA’s Midwest District and all are from the Big Ten. Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State will represent the Big Ten.
Williams admits the timing was poor, but she wanted to leave.
“The timing has been brewing for half a year,” Williams said. “It’s a full-time position and I was ready for this.”