Feb. 13, 2007
Charlottesville, VA -
Virginia women's golf coach, Jan Mann announced today she will retire from coaching following the conclusion of the current season. Mann has been the only coach in the four-year history of the Cavalier program. A native of Jacksonville, N.C., Mann intends to relocate to eastern North Carolina where her three children reside. She plans on working in private business with her husband, John.
During her five years at Virginia, Mann directed the Cavaliers to two NCAA Regionals, one NCAA Championship team appearance (2005), one NCAA Championship individual appearance (2006) and a runner-up finish at the ACC Championships (2006). She witnessed the program's first tournament championship last fall and saw senior Leah Wigger make consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAAs and earn All-America honors. This season features the program's first senior class. The Cavaliers were ranked seventh by Golfweek following the conclusion of the fall season. Virginia opens its spring season Feb. 26 at Arizona's Wildcat Invitational.
"Each year the program has grown in strength and talent," Mann said. "I expect that next year the team will continue to improve with the very talented returning players and the addition of our strongest recruiting class ever. While it will be extremely difficult to leave such a great team, I am certain I am leaving the program in excellent shape. I love my team and I love coaching, but I have decided to pursue an opportunity in private business that will allow me to spend more time with my family and our grandchildren.
"This has been a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to be the first women's golf coach at Virginia," she said. "I am so very proud of the young women who have played for me and represented our University in the best possible way. It was their determination and hard work that has made this program so successful. These young women set their goals high and worked awfully hard to lay the foundation of a great tradition at Virginia."
"It is not an exaggeration to say that Jan Mann is UVa Women's Golf," said Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage. "Coach Mann has touched every part of this program from the time of its inception through the upcoming season. She has been a marvelous coach and mentor to her students. She's been a wonderful colleague and friend to her fellow coaches and our administrative staff. I want to thank Jan for her sacrifice, and hard work as our head coach; she's been a great representative of the University and UVa Athletics. We all wish her and her family the best. "
Mann was hired on June 18, 2002 after directing the women's golf program at UNC Wilmington for eight seasons from 1994 to 2002. After a predictable up-and-down first season in 2004, the Cavaliers qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2005. After finishing third at the ACC Championships and fifth at the NCAA East Regional, the Cavaliers placed 13th at the NCAAs. Virginia was led by the runner-up showing of sophomore Leah Wigger, who was also second at that year's NCAA Regional. Mann was named the ACC's coach of the year for the 2005 season.
In 2006 the Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA East Regional where they lost a one-hole playoff for the opportunity to return to the NCAA Championships. Wigger qualified as an individual competitor and went on to finish ninth overall. At the conclusion of the season, Wigger was named a second-team All-American by the NGCA and Golfweek, the first Virginia player to receive that honor.
Last fall the Cavaliers achieved another first for the program by winning a tournament title. Virginia placed first at UNC Wilmington's Landfall Tradition. It was a tournament that Mann helped to start when she was the Seahawks' head coach.
"I know this program will have a bright future. We have received great support from our University, athletic administrators, alumni and the local golf community," Mann said. "I cannot say enough about how enjoyable it has been to work with people like Craig Littlepage, Jane Miller, Jon Oliver, Dirk Katstra, Gloria Casella and my fellow coaches. Their passion to make this a highly successful athletics department, without compromising integrity, has been ingrained in our program."
Mann's student-athletes have performed just as well in the classroom. Over the last three years 16 UVa golfers have been named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Women's Golf Team and the team has produced the highest GPA of any Virginia athletic program the past two years. Six times UVa golfers have been named to the NGCA Academic All-America team.
Mann's involvement with college golf includes a term on the NCAA Women's Division I Golf Committee, which she chaired for the 2004 NCAA Championships. She also co-chaired the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee and is a member of the LPGA Coaches Advisory Committee.
Virginia will immediately begin a national search to hire Mann's successor.