Bev Kearney resigned as the University of Texas' women's track and field coach Saturday, more than seven weeks after being placed on paid leave.
She acknowledged to the Austin American-Statesman that she had a "consensual intimate relationship" with an "adult student-athlete" in 2002. The former student-athlete reported the affair to university officials in October, prompting the school to put Kearney on paid leave Nov. 12.
Multiple media reports indicated that the player involved was a member of Kearney's team.
Kearney said she ended the affair in the same year it began after she was involving in a car accident, but that the repercussions of her mistake still haunt her.
"You destroy yourself," she told the American-Statesman. "You start questioning how could you make such a judgment. How could you make such an error after all the years? You can get consumed (by it).
"But I had to go back and say, 'God, if this is the pattern that you choose for me to find peace of mind, if this is what I need to go through ... in order to do that, let me not make it about anybody else, but revert it back to me.' It's been a difficult challenge for me simply because I have to forgive myself for making an error. I didn't commit a crime, but I displayed poor judgment."
University of Texas vice president for legal affairs Patti Ohlendorf told the American-Statesman, "In the case of a head coach and a student-athlete on his or her team, the university's position is that that cannot be condoned in any event. 'It can't happen' is what the university's position is on that.
"We believe Bev is a good person. Bev has done a lot for the university over the years. We think this is a terrible mistake, and I know it's something she regrets. But it's not the type of thing that can happen between a coach and a student-athlete on the team."
Kearney, 55, guided the Longhorns to NCAA indoor championships in 1998, 1999 and 2006, and NCAA outdoor championships in 1998, 1999 and 2005. She won conference coach of the year honors 16 times since taking over as Texas' coach in 1993. Kearney previously was the head women's track and field coach at the University of Florida from 1987-92.