Crystal River softball coach Lanna Hough resigned this week after compiling a 48-21 record during her three-year reign.
Hough, 25, turned in her resignation Monday because she hopes to obtain a master's degree and become a guidance counselor or athletic trainer, athletic director Earl Bramlett said.
"Her resignation really caught me by surprise," Bramlett said. "She did a great job for us. I really respect her for going back to school and doing what she wants to do."
Bramlett wasn't the only one who was shocked.
"It was a very upsetting surprise," junior Ashley Bullion said. "I didn't know she was going to resign. I just think it was her choice and she wanted a major career change."
Senior Cassie Pearson, who pitched a perfect game this season, said Hough was a fun coach to be around.
"She's just such a wonderful person," Pearson said. "I hope they find somebody like Miss Hough, but a little more disciplined."
The Pirates captured the GCAC title and top seed in the District 4A-9 tournament this season only to be upset with a 1-0 opening-round loss to Springstead.
Hough guided the Pirates to the elite eight in 2002, her first season, and posted a 13-7 record last season.
Last season, Hough got caught up in an investigation of the Crystal River baseball team when she deposited $3,600 into the softball team's booster account. Although her father, Lannie, said the money came from him, Hough turned in receipts inaccurately crediting the donation to 15 players who had raised the money.
"I don't think that had anything do with her resigning, because we've put all of that behind us," Bramlett said.
Bramlett said the opening will be advertised with the Florida High School Athletic Association and Florida Athletic Coaches Association and he hopes to fill the position before school starts in August.