Fortner has served as the team's head coach for the past eight seasons and has compiled a record of 143-105 over that span.
"I love Auburn and have absolutely loved my time here during the course of the last eight years," Fortner said. "I have dedicated the last 28 years to coaching basketball and feel it is time for me to pursue something different. This was not an easy decision, as I have contemplated this for several months, but I am looking forward to the change. I'm proud of where the Auburn program is and what we've accomplished."
In 2008-09, Fortner was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and Basketball Times National Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to their first SEC regular-season title in 20 years with a 30-4 overall mark to go with a 12-2 record in league play.
Auburn advanced to postseason play four times under Fortner, playing in the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2009, and making appearances in the WNIT in 2007 and 2011.
"We respect Nell's decision to pursue other opportunities and appreciate everything that she's done for Auburn," Jacobs said. "Nell has been a tremendous ambassador for Auburn Athletics, the university and our community, always willing to be a team player. She achieved success on the court and developed her players athletically, academically and socially. I have the utmost respect for Nell and want to thank her for her contributions to the women's basketball program and the Auburn community during her eight years at Auburn."
Fortner came to Auburn in 2004 after serving as head coach of the WNBA's Indiana Fever from 2001-03. Prior to that, she was the head coach of the U.S. Women's National team that won a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.