Florida women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer resigns over ‘personal reasons’

By Adam Silverstein
July 16, 2021
Florida women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer resigns over ‘personal reasons’
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Image Credit: Belmont

Six weeks after being signed to an extension to continue leading the Florida Gators women’s basketball team, head coach Cameron Newbauer has resigned over what he’s calling “personal reasons.” Newbauer, who was contracted through the 2024-25 season at $500,000 per year, has overseen a team that has struggled to find its footing under his leadership.

 “Being the head coach of the University of Florida women’s basketball team has been the honor of a lifetime,” Newbauer said in a statement released by the program. “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. There are many people who I am forever grateful for, but I especially want to thank all of the players who I had the privilege to coach.  I have no doubt that the program we built is poised for great success.”

Florida finished 12-14 last season, missing the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are 46-71 overall under Newbauer with three losing seasons and a 15-15 campaign in the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.

With the upcoming 2021-22 campaign so close, athletic director Scott Stricklin has decided not to begin a coaching search until after the season. Instead, associate coach Kelly Rae Finley will serve in an interim role.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Prior to joining the Gators in April 2017 and being promoted to associate head coach in May 2019, Finely served as an assistant at Arizona, Colorado and Harvard. She stepped in as head coach over three games last season.

The women’s basketball team has only had one winning record in the last seven seasons, none since Florida fired Amanda Butler in 2017. It has long been a surprisingly lackluster program given how the Gators have found success in nearly every other sport across the entire athletic department.

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