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Florida's Peck to step aside at end of season

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida women's basketball coach
Carolyn Peck was fired Monday, one day after the Gators lost their
13th consecutive game.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley said Peck will finish the rest of
the season, then step aside as he begins searching for a
replacement. Peck led Purdue to the 1999 national title.

Foley plucked Peck from the WNBA's Orlando Miracle in 2002 with
hopes she would put Florida on the same level with Southeastern
Conference powers Tennessee, Georgia and LSU.

It never happened.

The Gators went 69-74 in Peck's five seasons, including a 22-45
mark in conference play. She led Florida to NCAA Tournament berths
in 2004 and 2006 and the WNIT in 2005.

But the Gators are 6-20 this season and 0-11 in the league.

"After appraising our women's basketball program over the past
few seasons and seeing where we are today, it is evident that a
change of coaching personnel is needed," Foley said Monday. "This
was a very difficult decision that came after much thought and
evaluation. Coach Peck is a talented person with great qualities.
She tried very hard to make it work here at Florida, but for
whatever reasons, the program hasn't flourished."

Peck thanked Foley for the opportunity, and said she understood
his decision.

"The program has not reached the level where we had envisioned
it being five years ago," Peck said. "For me, the game is not
just about the wins and losses. It's about the development of the
players, and I have seen some great improvements from the young
women I have coached."