The Cleveland Cavaliers announced they've hired Lindsay Gottlieb to join new head coach John Beilein's staff.
Gottlieb spent eight seasons as head coach of the University of California, Berkeley women's team, where she led them to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and a Final Four. The 41-year-old compiled a 179-89 record with the Golden Bears.
“I am excited to have a coach with Lindsay’s experience as a part of the new coaching staff with the Cavaliers,” Beilein said in a statement. “Lindsay truly values and embraces player development and a culture of winning basketball habits. Her success at Cal-Berkeley speaks for itself and her insight in our meetings, practices and games will hold tremendous value. After sitting with her, it was easy to see how she will connect quickly with our staff and our players, and we all benefit because of that connection."
ESPN reported Gottlieb will sign a four year contract and play a prominent role beside Beilein and Associate Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff. After meeting Gottlieb, Beilein reportedly became determined to recruit her to his staff. She's believed to be the eighth female to become an NBA assistant, but the first from a successful and lucrative college program. It's also believed her role will be similar to that of Becky Hammon with the San Antonio Spurs, who was a star in the WNBA, and former Sacramento assistant Nancy Lieberman, considered one of the best women's basketball players ever.
“I am very thankful, proud and excited to be joining the Cavaliers as an assistant coach. After meeting with Koby Altman, Coach Beilein and Coach Bickerstaff, I knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of and a team I wanted to dedicate myself to,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “While this move provided a unique and special chance to move directly from Cal-Berkeley and women’s college basketball to the NBA, it was really about being part of building and growing something special and adding value to a team and organization that is focused on doing things in a way that I believe strongly in.
“The vision for the Cavs’ future is compelling and I look forward to helping make it a reality," she said.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that one of his goals is to have the first female NBA head coach during his tenure as commissioner, and Cavs General Manager Koby Altman was interested in pursuing a high-level women's coach, according to ESPN.
ESPN story on a historic first in the NBA: The Cavaliers are hiring one of the top coaches in women's college basketball -- Cal's Lindsay Gottlieb -- to their coaching staff. https://t.co/d35IR5K3FS
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019
"Lindsay Gottlieb will be a great addition to Coach Beilein’s and Coach Bickerstaff’s group," Altman said in a statement. "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. We’re fortunate that she was willing to leave her role as head coach at such a solid and successful program at Cal.”
Gottlieb was also an assistant at Syracuse, New Hampshire, Richmond and at Cal-Berkeley before assuming the head coach's spot.
She played collegiately at Brown University, where she spent her 1999 senior season as both a player and student assistant to the coaching staff.