Danielle Downey, the director of golf operations, died in a car accident on Thursday night in Lee County. Downey, 33, was pronounced dead by Lee Counter coroner, Bill Harris, at 10:58 p.m. last night. It's not known as of now if icy conditions were the cause of the accident.
Downey was not only an Auburn coach, but also an Auburn alumna as she played golf at Auburn from 1999 to 2003. During her playing career at Auburn, Downey received All-American honors in 2000, 2002, and 2003, as well as receiving All-SEC honors for all four years. Following her career at Auburn, Downey continued her golf career as she played on the LPGA and Futures Tours.
Downey stepped in for women's coach, Kim Evans, after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last season. Auburn's golf program finished sixth in the NCAA tournament last season under Downey.
"I'm absolutely devastated," Evans said in a statement. "Danielle meant so much to me, the girls and this program. Not only did she give much of her life to Auburn as a student-athlete and as mentor to these young women, but she was so instrumental to this team during some tough times over the past year. Danielle was like a daughter to me."
"This is a tragic and devastating loss for Danielle's family, our student-athletes and staff and the entire Auburn family," Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said. "Danielle cared deeply about people and she was loved by all who knew her. She impacted a lot of lives here as a player and a member of our staff. Our hearts go out to Danielle's mother and father, her sisters and all who knew and loved her. She will be dearly missed."