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Cavs assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb leaving NBA to become head coach at USC

Lindsay Gottlieb
Posted at 2:03 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 17:44:54-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb will be leaving her position with the team, stepping away from the NBA to coach the women's basketball team at the University of Southern California.

Gottlieb, who was hired by the Cavs in 2019, was the first women's collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff.

Before her time with the Cavs, Gottlieb was the University of California-Berkeley women's head coach where she had led the Golden Bears to a combined 179-89 record and advanced to seven NCAA tournaments.

Gottlieb agreed to a six-year contract to become the head coach at USC, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Lindsay Gottlieb has been a tremendous asset to this organization since joining us two seasons ago, and I couldn’t be more excited for this incredible opportunity ahead of her at the University of Southern California. Lindsay brought an extensive coaching and culture-building background to Cleveland that fit seamlessly with the existing direction in place for this team," said Cavs General Manager Koby Altman. "What really stands out about her time with the Cavaliers was how well she was able to communicate with our players, while demonstrating different perspectives on a daily basis that helped change the outlook of the game for many of our guys. We were fortunate that she was willing to leave her position at Cal to join us, and we are not surprised that she has remained a sought after Head Coach at the highest level of women’s college basketball. Lindsay will always be part of the Cavaliers family and we wish her, along with her husband Patrick and son Jordan, the very best as they embark on this new journey back in California and at USC.”

Gottlieb issued the following statement regarding her decision:

I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Coach with the Cavaliers for the last two years. This has truly been a basketball dream come true for me to work not only in the NBA, but hand-in-hand with this incredible coaching staff that has taught me so much. I’d especially like to thank Koby Altman and J.B. Bickerstaff for believing in me and providing an inclusive environment to enhance my coaching acumen. This is a very special group of players who have a tremendous amount of talent and work ethic, and it was an honor to work and develop relationships with them as well. The vision of this organization is what attracted me to Cleveland, and I look forward to seeing the continued development of this team and all that these guys can become in the future.

This was a very difficult decision and even tougher to say goodbye, but the opportunity at USC was something I could not let pass. What I see is a program steeped in tradition with a history of excellence and one of the nation’s strongest brands. I look forward to becoming part of that legacy and helping bring the Women of Troy back to national prominence.

The USC Women's Basketball team shared the news on Twitter Monday afternoon.

"We are thrilled to name Lindsay Gottlieb our new women's basketball head coach," said Trojan athletic director Mike Bohn. "A trailblazer who smashed through the glass ceiling of men's professional sports, I cannot think of a better coach, leader, and role model for our young women. Lindsay has a proven record of success in the country's premier women's basketball conference, and her commitment to student-athletes aligns perfectly with our vision and values. After an incredible experience in the NBA, Lindsay is taking leadership of our program at a time when she has become her very best as a coach and teacher, and we have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the Women of Troy back to national prominence."

RELATED: Cleveland Cavaliers make historic female hire in Cal-Berkeley women's head coach Lindsay Gottlieb