No surprises or last minute changes of heart: Lindsay Gottlieb has been officially announced as the next head coach of Cal women's basketball. Most Cal fans were pulling for her, and the twitterverse appeared to confirm her selection just prior to the athletic department's release. Coach Gottlieb is sounding like an old blue already:
"I am both excited and humbled to return to Cal as the head women's basketball coach," Gottlieb said. "When I set foot on campus six years ago, I felt Cal could be a gem in the women's basketball landscape. Now I know that to be true. Joanne Boyle and the talented young women who have worn the blue and gold have elevated the program to national prominence and I look forward to taking the baton and helping Cal basketball reach unprecedented heights. The leadership of Chancellor Birgeneau and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour is inspiring. Cal is the number one public institution in the country and the commitment to women's basketball from the community and the athletic department is palpable. I cannot wait to get started!"
Her first task will be to reaffirm the commitments of Reshanda Gray, Brittany Boyd and Erika Johnson. Gray and Boyd both already stated their intention to honor their commitment prior to Gottlieb's hiring, while Johnson remained tentatively committed pending the outcome of Cal's coaching search. Edit: According to this report from Jonathan Okanes, Johnson reaffirmed her commitment today. So, mission accomplished!
Most Cal women's basketball fans are likely hoping Coach Gottlieb will retain assistant coach Charmin Smith, if she wants to stay in Berkeley. That would ensure more continuity and would likely help retain Cal's current recruits.
CGB will have more posts in the future looking at what Coach Gottlieb brings to the table based on her time at Cal and at UCSB. You can find Swish Appeal's first thoughts here. For now, we fully welcome Coach Gottlieb back to Berkeley - once a Bear, always a Bear!