Sports

Gottlieb ’99 joins NBA’s Cavaliers in historic hiring

Gottlieb is first female collegiate head coach to make jump to NBA

By
Sports Editor
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Lindsay Gottlieb ’99 made history June 12th after the Cleveland Cavaliers hired her as an assistant coach, making her the first female collegiate head coach to join an NBA team’s coaching staff. 

“The vision for the Cavs’ future is compelling, and I look forward to helping make it a reality,” said Gottlieb in a statement issued by the Cavaliers. “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.”

Gottlieb will be the seventh female assistant in the NBA, and the only woman to be part of the Cavaliers’ coaching staff. 

It’s really incredible to see Lindsay make this jump to the NBA – both because of what an exciting opportunity it is for her and for what this means more broadly for women,” wrote Kai Felton, the current interim head coach at the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement to The Herald.  “We want the young women we coach to feel like they are capable of doing anything and being anything they set their minds to.”

Gottlieb played for the women’s basketball team during her time at Brown, and served as both a player and a student assistant during her senior season with the Bears. For her passion and contribution to the team, Gottlieb was awarded the team’s Heart and Soul Award during her senior year. 

Following her career with the Bears, Gottlieb rose through the college coaching ranks, working on coaching staffs at Syracuse University, the University of New Hampshire, Richmond University and the University of California at Berkeley. 

In 2008, Gottlieb was named head coach of the women’s team at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She led her squad to a 15-1 record and an NCAA tournament berth while earning Big West Coach of the Year honors. 

In 2011, Gottlieb rejoined Berkeley as the women’s head coach and embarked on an eight-year career that featured seven NCAA tournament berths and a 2013 Final Four appearance. The Golden Bears were consistently a top 25 team under Gottlieb, compiling a record of 179-89 during her tenure. 

“(Gottlieb’s) an amazing person and a fantastic coach,” Felton wrote.  “I am really proud to call her my friend and to have spent the last eight years working together at Cal. We will all be cheering her on in this big next step.”

“(Gottlieb) 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,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman in a team statement. “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.”

Gottlieb will assist Head Coach John Beilein, who will also be coaching his first season in the NBA after spending 12 seasons at the University of Michigan. 

The Cavaliers suffered through a disappointing 2018-19 season, finishing 19-63 and with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland previously won the NBA championships in 2016 but is now transitioning after losing superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in recent years.

Gottlieb could not be reached for comment by press time.