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Lindsay Whalen named Minnesota Golden Gophers Head Coach

WNBA: Finals-Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the University of Minnesota announced that Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen will be the head coach of the women’s basketball team starting in the 2018-19 season. Whalen will continue to play with the Lynx this summer.

Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve also had this to say in a statement:

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Lindsay and her family as she becomes the next Head Coach of the University of Minnesota’s women’s basketball team. I want to commend Mark Coyle and his staff for his swift movement in landing one of the all-time great Gophers. Lindsay is a proven leader at every level of her illustrious career and I know she will continue to excel as a head coach of the Gopher program. The Minnesota Lynx hold a special place with Lindsay and we are excited to see her back on the court this summer for her 14th WNBA season.

And here is Whalen’s:

I would like to thank Coach Reeve and the Lynx organization for their support during this process. As I started this process with the University of Minnesota, it was important to me that I returned to the Lynx this season. I’m very excited about our upcoming season and I look forward to returning to a renovated Target Center and playing in front of our great fans.

Whalen went to the University of Minnesota for college from 2000-04 where the Golden Gophers made a Final Four appearance in 2004. She then played in the WNBA for the Connecticut Sun under then-head coach Mike Thibault from 2004-09, and for the Lynx from 2010 on. Whalen also was a member of the 2012 and 2016 USA Basketball women’s national teams that won the gold medal.

It remains unclear if Whalen will retire after the season. Dawn Staley played six years in the WNBA while also serving as Temple’s head coach from 2000-06, so it’s not unprecedented if Whalen chooses to go the same route for a year. That said, Staley was just 30 when she started coaching at Temple, while Whalen is now 35.

The previous head coach, Marlene Stollings took the head coach position at Texas Tech earlier this week, prompting the vacancy.