Charmin Smith returns to Berkeley as head women’s basketball coach

Charmin Smith

Charmin Smith returns to Berkeley as the new Golden Bears' women's basketball head coach (Photo courtesy of Cal Athletics)

Charmin Smith, the longtime UC Berkeley women’s assistant basketball coach, will be the campus’s 10th head women’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton announced today (Friday, June 21).

Smith, who has spent the last 12 seasons at Berkeley as an assistant coach, and who also has carried the title of associate head coach since 2012, takes over for Lindsay Gottlieb, who was recently hired as an assistant coach by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Knowlton will formally introduce Smith at an 11 a.m. press conference next Tuesday, June 25, at Memorial Stadium’s Field Club.

It was just in April that the WNBA’s New York Liberty hired Smith to be an assistant coach, but the lure of taking over for Gottlieb called Smith back to the West Coast.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead this program and the amazing young women in it,” Smith said in a statement. “I am grateful to Jim Knowlton for trusting me to keep building the tradition of excellence that is Cal basketball.

“Berkeley has been my home for the last 12 years and has made a lasting mark on my life,” she added. “I am incredibly proud of what this program has already accomplished, and I am thrilled to continue the work of preparing our student-athletes for success both on the court and beyond.”

Since 2007, when Smith joined the Cal women’s basketball staff,  the Golden Bears have had 10 20-win seasons and made nine trips to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

Smith was a star women’s basketball player at Stanford University from 1993 to 1997 and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees there in civil and environmental engineering, She went on to play professional women’s basketball for several years, then worked as an assistant coach at both Boston College and Stanford.

During her dozen years at Berkeley, she has handled recruiting, scheduling, alumni engagement and campus equity and inclusion and has served on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Board of Directors.

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