Gottlieb leaves Berkeley to blaze trails as Cavaliers’ assistant coach

a woman on a basketball court

Lindsay Gottlieb coaches her team during a 2012 game. Gottlieb will now coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Norbert Von Der Groeben/isiPhoto)

After leading UC Berkeley to seven NCAA appearances in eight years, Lindsay Gottlieb is leaving her job as the Golden Bears’ women’s basketball head coach to break some barriers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired the long-time Bears’ leader as an assistant coach.

The announcement, made Wednesday by Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and head coach John Beilein, makes Gottlieb the NBA’s first female assistant coach recruited directly from coaching in the NCAA.

“Today I was able to realize a lifelong dream as I accepted a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. For the better part of 15 years, I have been able to call the University of California home. The ability to be the head coach at Cal, to mentor and impact young women, has been the greatest honor and privilege,” Gottlieb said.

There are six other women holding down NBA assistant coaching jobs at present: Becky Hammon (San Antonio Spurs), Lindsey Harding (Philadelphia 76ers), Karen Stack-Umlauf (Chicago Bulls), Kristi Toliver (Washington Wizards), Jenny Boucek (Dallas Mavericks) and Natalie Nakase (Los Angeles Clippers).

During her time with the Golden Bears, Gottlieb’s teams went 178-89 overall for a .668 winning percentage, and 86-58 (.597) in the Pac-12. Her 179 wins are the second-most by any head coach in Cal women’s basketball history.

Gottlieb coached five Cal players to 10 total All-America seasons and saw six of her players become WNBA draft selections during her time as head coach. In 2013, the Bears made it to the Final Four, and Gottlieb was a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award.

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