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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

USC women’s basketball hires Cavaliers assistant Lindsay Gottlieb

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Assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb of the Cleveland Cavaliers was hired as the next head coach of the USC women’s basketbal program on Monday. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Lindsay Gottlieb is headed back to the Pac-12.

The Cleveland Cavaliers assistant was hired on Monday to become the next women’s coach at USC.

“It is an honor and a thrill to become the women’s basketball coach at USC,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “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.

“I went to the NBA to challenge myself at the highest levels of the game of basketball and was fully invested in that journey. However, the commitment of [USC] president Carol Folt and athletic director Mike Bohn to women’s basketball at USC, and to my vision of success, made it clear that now is the right time to come here and use all my coaching experience to partner with the young women in the program, the administration and our future student-athletes to make USC women’s basketball the most dynamic program in the country.”

Gottlieb was hired by the Cavaliers in 2019 after eight seasons at California, where she compiled a 179-89 record and reached the NCAA tournament seven times. She led the Bears to a Final Four in 2013, too, and finished that season with a 32-4 record.

She became just the seventh female assistant in NBA history when she was hired in Cleveland, and the first female head coach from a Power Five conference to do so.

The 43-year-old will take over for former coach Mark Trakh, who retired last month after four seasons with the program. He finished with an overall 155-114 record, including an initial five-year stint from 2005-09. USC hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2014, it’s only appearance in the past 15 seasons.

Her contract at USC, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is a six-year deal.

“A trailblazer who smashed through the glass ceiling of men’s professional sports, I cannot think of a better coach, leader, and role model for our young women,” Bohn said in a statement. “Lindsay has a proven record of success in the country’s premier women’s basketball conference, and her commitment to student-athletes aligns perfectly with our vision and values.

“After an incredible experience in the NBA, Lindsay is taking leadership of our program at a time when she has become her very best as a coach and teacher, and we have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the Women of Troy back to national prominence.”

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