The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a coaching staff makeover this season, and are now making a bit of history. The Cavs announced that they have hired California-Berkley women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant coach. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had the breaking news first:
In a landmark appointment for the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring University of California-Berkeley women’s head coach Lindsay Gottlieb to be an assistant coach on John Beilein’s staff, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019
The term “landmark” may be confusing. Gottlieb is not the first female assistant coach in the NBA. In fact, there are several already. Becky Hammon in San Antonio, Natalie Nakase in Los Angeles with the Clippers, Jenny Boucek in Dallas, Kristi Tolliver in Washington, and Chastity Melvin in Charlotte. What makes the Cleveland hire special is that Gottlieb is the first female coach plucked from the NCAA ranks. The Cavaliers also nabbed another high-profile college coach in John Beilein from Michigan.
“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 in the press release. “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,” Gottlieb continued. “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 provided a bit of insight on her new job in Cleveland to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt:
— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) June 15, 2019