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Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb returning to women’s college basketball, named new USC head coach

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It is reportedly a six-year deal for Gottlieb with the Trojans.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Lindsay Gottlieb has been hired as the women’s head coach at USC, the school announced Monday.

“It is an honor and a thrill to become the women’s basketball coach at USC,” Gottlieb said in a statement released by the school. “I am inspired by the incredible history of this program and excited about the opportunity to do special things with the young women I will have the privilege to coach.”

Gottlieb was the first female head coach from a Power 5 conference to make the leap to the NBA sidelines, moving from the University of California to the Cavaliers in 2019. Gottlieb played a role in everything on Bickerstaff’s coaching staff, including game preparation and player development with Cleveland’s strong young core of Jarrett Allen, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro.

Gottlieb will remain with the Cavaliers for the final four games of the regular season before leaving for USC.

“Lindsay Gottlieb has been a tremendous asset to this organization since joining us two seasons ago, and I couldn’t be more excited for this incredible opportunity ahead of her at the University of Southern California,” said Cavs general manager Koby Altman. “Lindsay brought an extensive coaching and culture-building background to Cleveland that fit seamlessly with the existing direction in place for this team. What really stands out about her time with the Cavaliers was how well she was able to communicate with our players, while demonstrating different perspectives on a daily basis that helped change the outlook of the game for many of our guys. We were fortunate that she was willing to leave her position at Cal to join us, and we are not surprised that she has remained a sought after Head Coach at the highest level of women’s college basketball. Lindsay will always be part of the Cavaliers family and we wish her, along with her husband Patrick and son Jordan, the very best as they embark on this new journey back in California and at USC.”

Gottlieb, 43, built a perennial NCAA tournament team in her eight seasons at Cal, including a trip to the Final Four in 2013. She advanced to the NCAA tournament seven times in those eight seasons, winning tournament games in six of those seven years.

Gottlieb led UCSB to the NCAA and WNIT tournaments in three seasons before Cal hired her away in 2011. She coached several of her stars, including New York’s Layshia Clarendon and Los Angeles’ Kristine Anigwe, to the WNBA.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Coach with the Cavaliers for the last two years,” said Gottlieb “This has truly been a basketball dream come true for me to work not only in the NBA, but hand-in-hand with this incredible coaching staff that has taught me so much. I’d especially like to thank Koby Altman and J.B. Bickerstaff for believing in me and providing an inclusive environment to enhance my coaching acumen. This is a very special group of players who have a tremendous amount of talent and work ethic, and it was an honor to work and develop relationships with them as well. The vision of this organization is what attracted me to Cleveland, and I look forward to seeing the continued development of this team and all that these guys can become in the future.

“This was a very difficult decision and even tougher to say goodbye, but the opportunity at USC was something I could not let pass. What I see is a program steeped in tradition with a history of excellence and one of the nation’s strongest brands. I look forward to becoming part of that legacy and helping bring the Women of Troy back to national prominence.”