Gators
Florida head coach Cam Newbauer speaks during the Southeastern Conference women's NCAA college basketball media day, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Gators Women’s Basketball Coach Cam Newbauer Steps Down

University of Florida women’s head basketball coach Cam Newbauer has resigned for personal reasons, according to a release from the University Athletic Association just before 2pm on Friday afternoon.  A new coach will be hired after the 2021/22 season.

Gators Women’s Basketball

Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin released a statement naming assistant coach Kelly Rae Finley as the interim head coach for the 2021-22 season.

The timing of the move is a curious one as just six weeks ago it was announced that Newbauer received a contract extension through the 2024-25 season adding three more years to his deal.

Newbauer was hired in 2017 at Florida after coaching Belmont University’s women’s team.

Newbauer and the Gators ended the 2020/21 season with a 12-14 record and with three regular season SEC wins.   He ends his Florida career with a 46-71 record.  ESPN Gainesville learned from two sources that Newbauer had issues with some of his players and that complaints about him were directed to his superiors.  A source close to the program and one within the program also confirmed there were player issues with Newbauer and that some complained about the way they were treated by the head coach.  Florida has had several players enter the transfer portal, most notably five star prospect and leading scorer Lavender Briggs who averaged 20.5 points for the Gators until an injury ended her season.  Briggs entered her name into the transfer portal July 14.

In a departing statement, Newbauer had nothing but praise for his time as the team’s head coach.

“Being the head coach of the University of Florida women’s basketball team has been the honor of a lifetime,” Newbauer said. “After much reflection, my family and I have come to the difficult decision to step away. Gator Nation and the Gainesville community have accepted me, my wife Sarah and our three daughters from the day we arrived. We will greatly miss all of the people that have made our experience and make this place so special.

Interim coach Kelly Rae Finley says she will do all she can to make the program successful.

“I am committed to our student-athletes and will continue to do all I can to help them become the best they can be on and off the court,” Finley said. “I’m grateful to be entrusted with this role and will bring my best every day to help us be successful together as a team.”

 

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