The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired Lindsay Gottlieb as an Assistant Coach, the team announced today, and according to ESPN, she is the first women’s collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff.
“Lindsay Gottlieb will be a great addition to Coach Beilein’s and Coach Bickerstaff’s group. 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,” said Altman. “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. Coach Gottlieb brings a depth of basketball knowledge, leadership, perspective and approach to her craft that will fit very well with our team and staff alike. We’re fortunate that she was willing to leave her role as Head Coach at such a solid and successful program at Cal.”
“I am excited to have a coach with Lindsay’s experience as a part of the new coaching staff with the Cavaliers,” said Beilein. “Lindsay truly values and embraces player development and a culture of winning basketball habits. 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. I’m looking forward to merging all of her years of experience and vision for the game with our current and future coaching staff.”
Gottlieb joins Beilein’s staff after serving eight years as the University of California, Berkeley women’s basketball head coach, where she led the Golden Bears to a combined 179-89 (.668) record (86-58, .597 in Pac-12) since taking over the helm in 2011-12. Her 179 wins are the second-most by any head coach in Cal women’s basketball history. During her tenure, Gottlieb led Cal to seven overall NCAA tournament appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019), including the program’s first-ever Elite Eight and Final Four appearances in 2013 – becoming just the seventh NCAA women’s coach since 1990 to reach the Final Four within the first two seasons leading a program. That same year, she was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year by media and was a Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist, while also guiding the Golden Bears to their first Pac-12 Regular-Season Championship.
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. She holds 11 overall years of Division I head coaching experience, posting a 235-128 (.647) overall record with Cal and UC Santa Barbara (2008-2011), where she led the Gauchos to two Big West Championships (2009, 2011) and was named Big West Coach of the Year in 2009.
“I am very thankful, proud and excited to be joining the Cavaliers as an Assistant Coach. After meeting with Koby Altman, Coach Beilein and Coach Bickerstaff, I knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of and a team I wanted to dedicate myself to,” said Gottlieb. “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.”
“I also want to thank Cal for what has been an amazing job, and really my home and family, for the better part of 15 years. It is very difficult to say goodbye. The university leadership, the athletic department, my fellow coaches, staff and, most of all, our players have been wonderful and inspiring to work with. The program is in great shape and I have no doubt it will continue to have a high level of success.”