One month after first being hired as the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach, John Beilein is still filling out his staff.
And in doing so, he made what has been described as a "landmark hire," tabbing California-Berkeley women's head coach Lindsay Gottlieb to be an assistant.
Gottlieb is the first woman to join the NBA from the collegiate ranks. She joins San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and former Sacramento Kings assistant Nancy Lieberman as just the third full-time women's coach in NBA history.
“Lindsay Gottlieb will be a great addition to Coach Beilein’s and Coach Bickerstaff’s group. She has an extensive track record of success and growth with her teams and players and has also been a strong culture-driver as a core part of that,” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in a release. “The more we researched and got to know Lindsay, the more we came to understand that she would be an impactful part of where we want to go as a team. Coach Gottlieb brings a depth of basketball knowledge, leadership, perspective and approach to her craft that will fit very well with our team and staff alike. We’re fortunate that she was willing to leave her role as Head Coach at such a solid and successful program at Cal.”
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news of Gottlieb's hiring.
Per Wojnarowski, Gottlieb's contract with Cleveland will be for four years and she is "expected to play a prominent role in support of Beilein." Altman is believed to be the force behind the hire with NBA commissioner Adam Silver having called for an increase in women coaches in recent years.
“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. “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.”
In eight seasons at Cal, Gottlieb amassed a 179-89 record, leading the Golden Bears to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2013 Final Four. Prior to Cal, she served as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara, where she totaled a 56-39 record in three seasons, including two Big West championships and an NCAA Tournament bid in 2009.
Named the 2009 Big West Coach of the Year and 2013 Pac12 Media Coach of the Year, Gottlieb was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Northern California in 2016.
Although neither Beilein nor Gottlieb possess previous NBA coaching experience, the Cavs hired former Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff as the team's top assistant coach last month. The Cavs have yet to announce any additional hires to Beilein's staff or the statuses of assistant coaches who worked under head coach Larry Drew last season.
The Cavs, who totaled a 19-63 record last season, enter next week's NBA Draft laying claim to the No. 5 and No. 26 picks.