Penn women's squash coach Demer Holleran has announced her resignation effective July 1, marking the end of the most prosperous era in the history of the team.

She plans to start a squash and fitness club in the Philadelphia area.

Over Holleran's nine-year tenure, the Quakers compiled a 72-36 record and were consistently ranked among the nation's top three teams. They won their first national championship in March of 2000 by capturing the Howe Cup.

A graduate of Princeton, Holleran also piloted the Red and Blue to their first-ever victory over her alma mater last season.

"I've been here nine years and it's been great," Holleran said. "We've been quite successful."

That success ran a bit short this year, as Penn finished fourth in its defense of the Howe Cup.

Still, Holleran helped guide the Quakers to great individual success in what would turn out to be her final season. Four of this season's 10 All-Ivy team members came from Penn. One of those, sophomore Runa Reta, dealt Princeton star Julia Beaver her only collegiate defeat.

"We are very proud of what Demer has accomplished at Penn," Athletic Director Steve Bilsky said in a statement.

Holleran's resignation comes at a time of transition for the program, as the Quakers will lose four starters to graduation.

That doesn't mean that Penn is ready to relinquish its place among the top teams in the country -- it just means that the time may have been right for Holleran to pursue her dream of starting a club of her own.

"It's a good time for me and the team," Holleran said. "It'll be a very young team next year. We have a very large incoming class of seven and the team has a very good chance to be strong as they get older. The next year and the year or two after, they could be a strong group, so to get another coach a chance to get established and set the tone would help them to grow."

Holleran said that she has already taken calls from prospective candidates to replace her, but she does not expect be on the official search committee for a new coach.

"I'm hoping to give my input," Holleran said. "I do know the job better than anyone else."

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