After a season that didn't include a single Big Ten victory, UW women's tennis coach Patti Henderson decided to call it quits Monday.
After 13 seasons with Wisconsin, Henderson is resigning from her position to pursue interests outside of collegiate athletics. Her last day of employment will be May 31, but a national search for her replacement is already underway.
"It is with deep gratitude and appreciation to the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez that I step away from my position as the women's tennis coach and follow my heart to pursue my new dream," Henderson said in a statement.
"I offer many thanks to the athletic program for providing me a training ground as rich and vibrant as all great relationships," she added. "This was a relationship in which I was able to learn and to grow and has now completed its natural cycle. To this unfolding, I am forever grateful to Barry."
And Alvarez said he was grateful for everything Henderson has done for the university over the years.
"I'm very appreciative of Patti's years of service to the University of Wisconsin," Alvarez said. "Patti was committed to providing a great experience for her student-athletes and that commitment was reflected in their successes on the court and in the classroom. We wish her well as she begins a new chapter in her life."
Despite her struggles in the past season, Henderson's teams were some of the best in school history.
In only her second season (1995-96), Henderson led the Badgers to the school's only Big Ten title, a No. 7 national ranking and a NCAA regional win. Over her UW career, Henderson coached four players to seven All-American awards, while 10 of her players have won 20 Big Ten awards.
In 1996 and 2002, she was honored by her conference peers as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
A possible replacement for Henderson's position could come within the program as assistant coach Doanh Wang remains with the team. Although this past season was Wang's first with UW, he has coached in the Madison area for several years. In three seasons coaching at Edgewood College, Wang was twice named Coach of the Year.
In her statement, Henderson thanked Wang for his contributions in what was a difficult season for the entire team.
"I am especially indebted to Doanh Wang, my assistant coach," she said. "Rare is the individual who will walk away from a sure thing to take a chance at the unknown. Doanh not only took this leap of faith, he backed it up with a hunger, passion and commitment only an open heart and soul can allow."
Henderson also gave Wisconsin her best wishes.
"I leave UW, with love in my heart for Wisconsin athletics and a knowing of the commitment to excellence this athletic department strives for," Henderson said.
"I wish all the best to the University of Wisconsin and the athletic department."