Coach Janet Sherman of Cal State Northridge stunned her softball team by announcing her resignation Sunday at the Matadors' awards banquet.
"It was my closing remark," Sherman quipped.
Sherman, 36, said she had been considering retirement for at least a year in order to return to college and pursue a doctorate in psychology.
"It's just not possible working 70 hours a week," she said.
Sherman, who in 1995 became Northridge's third coach, said after guiding a team with five freshman starters to a postseason appearance and a national top-25 ranking, the time was right to say goodbye.
"I guess I feel I took them somewhere and I can let go of this now and move on to other things," Sherman said.
"I don't see coaching in my future. I've been on the field long enough. I don't want to die in the dirt."
Assistant Barbara Jordan, 35, a three-time Division II All-American at Northridge in the mid-1980s, was will be interim coach.
"I think Barbara is ready to take the position," Sherman said. "I think she can sell the program. She knows and loves the tradition here and that's what we need to take us to the next level. It's important to have someone who believes in the program."
Jordan, a 1996 Olympic team alternate, has been a Northridge assistant for two seasons. She coached at Westlake High in 1999.
"I'm excited," Jordan said. "I think if we get the right players and right coaching staff in here, we're going to do well."
Athletic Director Dick Dull said a nationwide search will be conducted to find Sherman's successor, but said there is no timetable for choosing a new head coach.
Sherman, with a 245-148-3 record in seven seasons, led the Matadors to seven consecutive postseason appearances. Northridge finished 32-24 and was third in the Big West Conference this past season.