COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri head softball coach Ehren Earleywine has been relieved of his coaching duties, Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced on Friday.

"I met with Coach Earleywine this morning and informed him of our decision to make a change in leadership within the softball program effective immediately," Sterk said. "We do not take action of this magnitude without careful thought and consideration, however, we have lost confidence in Coach Earleywine's leadership to foster the type of healthy environment we expect for our student-athletes, and as a result, believe it is in the program's best interest to make a change at this time.

Earleywine coached the Tigers for 11 seasons. He compiled a record of 482-182 (.726), while leading the program to 11 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament. According to Mizzou, he’ll be paid based upon the terms of his contract, which was set to expire on June 30.

"While we are appreciative of the many successes Coach Earleywine's teams have enjoyed on the field during his Mizzou tenure, we had serious concerns about the culture within the softball program and the experience our student-athletes were being provided as a result," Sterk said. "I recognize that the timing is less than ideal, but I did not believe I could hold off in making a decision to ensure that our student-athletes experience a constructive environment that is consistent with the department's expectations and values."

Missouri opens this season at the Kajikawa Classic in Temple, Arizona on Feb. 8.