Gottlieb leaves UCSB for head coaching job at Cal

UCSB women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb is going back from where she came.

Gottlieb is returning to Cal to take over as its new women’s basketball coach. She served three years as an assistant and later as the Associate Head Coach at Berkeley under Joanne Boyle before coming the Santa Barbara. Boyle was recently named the head coach at Virginia.

“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,” she added. “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!”

UCSB Director of Athletics Mark W. Massari wished Gottlieb well in her return to Cal.

“Lindsay deserves great things in her career. She is a good coach and an even better person,” he said. “What I truly loved about working with Lindsay, and her dedicated staff, was their complete desire to honor Coach Mark French’s legacy of producing nothing but championships at UCSB. That is a challenge most do not want or would be able to thrive in. Lindsay did.”

UCSB will begin a national search for a new coach.

Gottlieb was named the fourth head coach in UCSB program history on May 15, 2008.

“UCSB is a special place and the support for Gaucho women’s basketball is palpable, both from the community and administration,” Gottlieb said. “I would like to thank Chancellor Yang, Dr. Gary Cunningham and Mark Massari for the opportunity to be the head coach at such a prestigious university. I leave with nothing but respect and admiration for the athletic department staff and every young woman in the program. Continued success lies ahead for the Gauchos, and I will always feel connected to UCSB and the Santa Barbara community.”

During her three seasons with the Gauchos, Gottlieb’s teams won two Big West regular-season championships, one Big West Tournament title, made a trip to the NCAA Tournament and had one appearance in the WNIT. Gottlieb’s overall record at UCSB was 56-39 (.589) and 36-13
(.735) in conference games.

“I want to thank Coach Gottlieb for the three beautiful years she has shared with our UC Santa Barbara community,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “She has been an outstanding coach and mentor for our student-athletes. She leaves behind a strong, cohesive, and spirited team that will continue to carry forward our proud tradition. We are sorry to see Lindsay leave us, but we are excited about this opportunity for her, and we will be glad to have a friend of the Gauchos at our
sister campus up north. We will form a search committee to move ahead quickly to conduct a national search for our next head coach.”

Said Cal AD Barbour: “I’m ecstatic that Lindsay has accepted our offer to become Cal’s next head coach. She’s exactly what we were looking for and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to attract a coach of her caliber.

“Coach Gottlieb is an exceedingly smart, talented and dedicated coach who is a gifted teacher, mentor and recruiter. I have no doubt that under her leadership the University of California women’s basketball program will build on the foundation she inherits, and take the program to new heights athletically, academically and in the community. Lindsay’s familiarity with the University and this department will make her transition a smooth one. We welcome her back to Cal and are looking forward to an exciting new era under her strong and determined leadership.”

UCSB women’s basketball has been the dominant team in the Big West Conference for the better part of two decades, claiming 15 Big West Championships and making 13 trips to the NCAA Tournament since 1992. The team is supported by the largest and most passionate fan base in the
conference, continually leading the Big West in attendance.

“Moving forward we will look for the next leader of our storied program who will develop strong women on the court and in life,” Massari said. “We are invested, as a campus, in women’s basketball.”

Mekia Valentine became the seventh Gaucho to be drafted by the WNBA earlier this month as UCSB ranks second only to Stanford in most WNBA draft picks by any school in the west.

Story includes information from Cal Athletics Dept.