Cal Coach G heads to CLE
Lindsay Gottlieb had made quite a career for herself as the head coach of women’s basketball at the University of California. New challenges were out there, though, and she grabbed one. Gottlieb was announced as the new assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Although there are several women working as assistants or in other capacities for NBA teams, Gottlieb will be the first college head coach to take one of those roles.
“Thrilled for Lindsay,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said during his NBA Finals press conference on Wednesday. “I’ve gotten to know her pretty well the last few years. She’s visited our practices many times. I’m a transplanted Cal fan since I’ve had two kids there. I’m disappointed for Cal that they’re losing such a dynamic person and a great coach, but I’m thrilled for Lindsay. What a great opportunity and a great hire by the Cavaliers. She’s a wonderful person and a hell of a coach.”
Kerr also spoke about the larger forces that seem to be propelling the NBA, and basketball in general, toward greater equality.
“Yeah, it does feel that way,” Kerr said. “Obviously, two big hires in the last few days. I think the women’s game has gotten so much better. Last year’s WNBA playoffs were so compelling. The Phoenix/Seattle series was incredible basketball. I just think the talent that we’re seeing, the level of play is probably helping women to gain positions in the men’s game. It’s great to see and I’m really happy for Swin and for Lindsay, of course, and hopefully there will be many more.”
The former Golden Bears coach had spent seven years in Berkeley, putting together a 159-76 record overall and 77-49 record in the Pac-12. Prior to that, she coached at UC-Santa Barbara for three years, leading the Gauchos to a 56-39 record.
More from NCAA
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, April 6: Stanford defeats Arizona in a tightly contested matchup to win the national title
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 30: UConn and Baylor deliver a classic battle of storied programs
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 26: Louisville and Texas A&M survive and advance
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 23: Highlights from the first round of the NCAA Tournament
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, March 16: Tournament bracket released
Gottlieb’s biggest accomplishments at Cal came in the 2012-13 season when the team won the Pac-12 regular season and made it to the Final Four. Both were first-time accomplishments for the program. Prior to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Golden Bears had never advanced beyond the Sweet Sixteen. She was the Pac-12 Coach of the Year that season as well as a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year.
After last season, though, Cal lost an all-time great. Kristine Anigwe, the Golden Bears’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder, was drafted by the Connecticut Sun. Grad transfer Recee’ Caldwell also exhausted her eligibility. While the program had two strong signees in their freshman class, they are looking to fill some big shoes.
With Gottlieb headed to join John Beilein’s staff in Ohio, it will be on her successor to guide the Golden Bears into the post-Anigwe future. With freshmen already arriving on campuses around the country for summer school and workouts, Cal will have to address that void quickly.
The team Gottlieb is set to join is also in a rebuilding process. After losing LeBron James to free agency again, the Cavaliers went 19-63 under two different coaches last season. They have two selections in the first round of this month’s draft with picks No. 5 and No. 29 headed to Cleveland.
Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.