Cavs hire Cal's Lindsay Gottlieb as assistant coach

Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein is breaking some new ground with the latest hire to his coaching staff.

University of California-Berkeley coach Lindsay Gottlieb has been hired an assistant coach, the team announced on Wednesday. Gottlieb has been coach of Cal since 2011 and amassed a 159-76 record there. In joining the Cavs’ staff, she will become the first women’s collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff.

Gottlieb is expected to sign a four-year deal with the Cavs, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports, and will play a prominent role in support of Beilein and associate head coach JB Bickerstaff. Cavs GM Koby Altman had been interested in pursuing a high-level women’s coach on his team’s coaching staff and brought that idea to Beilein. 

Beilein met with Gottleib and discussed the ways she could impact an NBA coaching staff and overall environment. From there, Wojnarowski reports, Beilein became determined to recruit her to Cleveland. The team and Gottlieb reached a deal late Tuesday night, per ESPN.

Gottlieb was a 2013 Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist and the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2013. She helped the Bears to their first Pac-12 regular season title and their first Elite Eight and Final Four berths in the 2012-13 season. In addition, she had five WNBA Draft selections from her team since 2013.

She is believed to be the eighth female to share an assistant coaching or player development role in the NBA, but will join the Cavs from the most prominent perch of any of her predecessors. Only two other female coaching peers are expected to have her level of prominence in the NBA: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and former Sacramento Kings assistant coach Nancy Lieberman. 

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