Auburn's Danielle Downey Killed in Traffic Accident
January 31, 2014
Auburn women’s golf All-American, LPGA Tournament player and current Auburn
Director of Golf Operations Danielle Downey, 33, passed away after a fatal car
accident, Thursday evening.
absolutely devastated,” Auburn head women’s golf coach Kim Evans said.
“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 a 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,” Director of Athletics
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."
native of Rochester, N.Y., Downey was in her second season serving as the
Director of Operations after returning to Auburn to complete her degree. She graduated in May of 2013 with her
degree in health promotion.
During the 2012-13 season, Downey stepped up in
place of head coach Kim Evans, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer,
therefore missing the postseason. Downey guided the team through NCAA
Regionals, earning a place in the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga. Auburn would
go on to take sixth at NCAAs, the team's best finish at the tournament in eight
Downey played at Auburn from 1999-2003, earning
All-America honors in 2000, 2002 and 2003. She was All-SEC all four years,
earning first-team honors three times, and was the 2000 SEC Tournament
champion. She also led Auburn to SEC team championships in 2000 and 2003.
Downey also holds the Auburn record for best finish at the NCAA Championship,
tying for second in 2002.
Following her Auburn career, she went on to
play on the LPGA and Futures Tours. During her time on the Futures Tour, she
notched seven top-10 finishes and one tournament victory, taking top honors at
the 2004 Lima Memorial Hospital Futures Golf Classic. On the LPGA Tour, Downey
finished in the money at 15 tournaments, including a career best tie for fourth
at the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
Downey is survived by her parents, Mike Downey
and Phyllis Downey, sisters, Erica Setzer, Melissa Sage, and Shawna Tomasso,
three nieces and three nephews and many, many friends. A local memorial service
will be held in Auburn in the coming days, more details to come.