The Cleveland Cavaliers have added to their 2019-20 coaching staff and made history in the process, announcing Lindsay Gottlieb as a new assistant — the first head coach of women’s collegiate basketball to be successfully recruited by the NBA.
The 41-year-old former University of California head coach has signed a four-year contract with the Cavaliers with the expectation of serving a “prominent role in support of” new head coach John Beilein, another longtime veteran of college hoops.
“Lindsay Gottlieb will be a great addition to Coach Beilein’s and Coach [JB] Bickerstaff’s group,” general manager Koby Altman said through a team release. “She has an extensive track record of success and growth with her teams and players and has also been a strong culture-driver as a core part of that. The more we researched and got to know Lindsay, the more we came to understand that she would be an impactful part of where we want to go as a team.”
Atop the women’s basketball staff at California for the last eight seasons, Gottlieb is best known for leading the Golden Bears to seven different NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program’s first-ever Final Four bid in 2013. After starting as a player-coach at Brown University, she joined Syracuse as an assistant coach in 1999 and spent a decade working her way up the ladder at New Hampshire, Richmond and then California, before landing her first head coaching gig at UC Santa Barbara in 2008.
Gottlieb led UCSB to a 15-1 conference record en route to a Big West title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009. She returned to Berkeley in 2011 to replace Joanne Boyle and compiled a 179-89 record with the Bears over eight years. Her 179 wins are the second-most by any head coach in Cal women’s basketball history.
Her hire also comes just days after another prominent female entry to the NBA, with the New Orleans Pelicans as their new vice president of basketball operations and team development earlier this week.