Torn between two careers, Chelsea Chowning is stepping down as coach of the Lexington Catholic girls' basketball team after two seasons.
"I'm a pharmacist, as well, and I'm going to be a full-time pharmacist," Chowning said.
Chowning held a meeting Tuesday to inform the team.
"Some were upset, and some were surprised," she said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to any of them individually. I addressed them as a team today and told them how grateful I was to have the opportunity to coach them, and what they meant to me."
Chowning said she came to her decision after Catholic's season ended Feb. 28.
"Just trying to balance two careers, and a non-traditional coaching past, generated challenges," she said. "But it was a really rewarding experience for me. I'm glad I did it. It was a difficult decision, but I think it's best for me at this point in my life to focus my career in one area."
Chowning, 26, earned MVP honors in the Sweet Sixteen as a sophomore, helping Lexington Catholic win the state championship.
A 2003 graduate, she started every game of her four-year career. Catholic went 125-15 during that span, reaching the Final Four of the state tournament three times.
She played two seasons for Xavier, then transferred when she was accepted into UK's College of Pharmacy. She played one season for the Wildcats.
Under Chowning, Catholic went 19-12 in the 2010-11 season and 20-12 this season. Both years, the Lady Knights were eliminated by Madison Central in the first round of the 11th Region tournament.
In addition to coaching, Chowning worked part-time as a pharmacist at St. Joseph's Hospital.
"I'll be looking to switch to full-time," she said. "It's not necessarily going to be at St. Joe's; it's just going to be full-time pharmacy."
Chowning added: "I'm just grateful for the opportunity (to coach) and wish the program the best of luck moving forward."
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com