While the Toronto Raptors battle to beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals and become the first non-US NBA Champion team, another historical moment has already transpired for the hard court. This was in the form of the first female basketball coach to be hired for the coaching staff of an NBA team.

Lindsay Gottlieb is a veteran coach for women’s college basketball in the US. And in the eyes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, she has got what it takes to help take the team’s players to heights like their 2016 championship high-point. She is the first women's NCAA coach in the NBA.

NCAA coach with a strong record

NBC Sports reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have added NCAA women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb into their coaching staff. In a statement released Wednesday, June 12, the Cavs announced that Gottlieb will serve as an assistant under the team’s Head Coach John Beilein. To Cleveland general manager Koby Altman, Gottlieb has a great breadth and depth of basketball knowledge from the women’s NCAA, plus leadership skills and game perspectives that makes her a dynamic fit with Beilein and fellow Assistant Coach J.B.

Bickerstaff. Altman also expressed gratitude that Gottlieb was willing to leave her successful head coach spot to join them.

Over at the NCAA, Gottlieb has been coaching at the University of California, Berkeley women’s team for eight years. There she built up a formidable W-L record of 179-89, regarded in Cal-B women’s basketball history as the second-highest in terms of victories.

This also includes her leading the California, Berkeley Golden Bears to their Elite Eight and Final Four debuts back in 2013.

Her joining the Cavaliers staff makes Gottlieb the eighth woman with either assistant coaching or player development duties for an NBA franchise. Interestingly, she has lately been seen as a frequent guest to watch the Golden State Warriors at practice, under the invite of their General Manager Bob Myers and Head Coach Steve Kerr.

Gottlieb hopes to inspire

In her own statement regarding being hired as an assistant coach for the Cavs, Lindsay Gottlieb remarked that she found their vision for the team’s future in the NBA to be compelling, and according to USA Today she looks forward to helping make that dream a reality. She also hopes that her new posting would serve as inspiration for empowering young girls and women with dreams of their own. Gottlieb joins John Beilein, signed by the Cavaliers in May from his work at the University of Michigan, and J.B. Bickerstaff who was also snapped up by Cleveland following his April sacking from the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Cavs look to maximize the abilities of their new coaching staff and their fifth overall pick from the June 20 draft, to steer the franchise back from one of their worst-performing NBA seasons yet.