April 25, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara will start an immediate national search for a new head women's basketball coach after Lindsay Gottlieb was named the new head coach at the University of California, Berkeley on Monday.
"Lindsay deserves great things in her career. She is a good coach and an even better person," said UCSB Director of Athletics Mark W. Massari. "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."
Gottlieb was named the fourth head coach in UCSB program history on May 15, 2008 after serving three years as an assistant and later as Associate Head Coach at Cal under Joanne Boyle. Boyle was recently named the head coach at Virginia.
"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 as the Gauchos head coach 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."
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.