CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have lured away another prominent college coach.
This time, from the women’s game.
Lindsay Gottlieb is leaving California after eight seasons to join John Beilein’s staff in Cleveland and become the seventh female assistant in the NBA.
Gottlieb led the Golden Bears to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and their first trip to the Final Four (2013). While she’s not the first female assistant in the world’s preeminent men’s league, she’s the first to make the jump from head college coach to a pro bench.
The Cavaliers recruited the 41-year-old Gottlieb, who said she was impressed and intrigued by the team’s goals following a recent meeting with Beilein and general manager Koby Altman.
“I knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of and a team I wanted to dedicate myself to,” said Gottlieb, who went 179-89 at Cal. “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. At the same time, on a personal level, I am honored to hopefully impact young girls and women to be empowered to pursue their own visions and to be inspired to turn them into reality as well.”
Altman, who persuaded Beilein to leave Michigan after 12 seasons, is excited about what Gottlieb brings to a young Cavaliers team that endured two coaching changes since October.
“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,” Altman said. “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.”
Beilein added former Memphis coach JB Bickerstaff as an associate head coach shortly after being hired.
“Lindsay truly values and embraces player development and a culture of winning basketball habits,” Beilein said. “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.”
Women with on-court roles in the NBA:
Jenny Boucek, Mavericks
Lindsay Gottlieb, Cavaliers
Becky Hammon, Spurs
Karen Stack-Umlauf, Bulls
Kristi Toliver, Wizards
Lindsey Harding, 76ers
Natalie Nakase, Clippers