Whalen Named Head U of M Women's Basketball Coach

April 13, 2018 09:07 AM

The University of Minnesota has announced that former Gophers and current Minnesota Lynx standout Lindsay Whalen will take over as head women's basketball coach at the school.

"People talk about the 'it' factor, and that is always difficult to define, but everyone who has ever spent time around Lindsay Whalen knows she has it," athletic director Mark Coyle said in a release.

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Click the video box on this page to watch Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve discuss Lindsay Whalen's hiring as head coach of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team

"She has excelled at everything she has ever done in her life because she's unflappable, determined and has a legendary work ethic. She's played for some of the top coaches in the world, she's competed at the highest levels the sport has to offer and I know she will be a great head coach for our women's basketball program."

A release on the school's website said that as part of Whalen's agreement to become head coach, which is still pending approval from the University's Board of Regents, she will continue to play for the Lynx.

RELATED: U of M Women's Basketball Coach Takes Texas Tech Job

"I have so many special memories at the University of Minnesota," Whalen said in the release. "I can't tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to make more. Becoming the head coach here at the U and being a Gopher again is a dream come true. At every level, basketball has given me so much. I've learned from so many great players, coaches and mentors, and now I have a chance to share that knowledge and help shape the new generation of Gopher stars.

"I'm ready to get started."

In a statement Thursday, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve congratulated Whalen.

RELATED: Whalen Becomes WNBA Wins Leader in Win at Washington

"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," the statement read.

"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."

In a statement issued by the Lynx, Whalen said it was important to her to return to the team.

"It was important to me that I returned to the Lynx this season," the statement read in part. "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." 

RELATED: Lynx Win 2017 WNBA Championship

Whalen, a Hutchinson High School graduate, was the first three-time All-American in program history. She was a three-time All-Big Ten selection who led the Gophers to their only Final Four berth in 2004.

After playing five seasons with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, Whalen returned to Minnesota to play for the Lynx and has helped lead the team to four WNBA titles, including last season.

She has also won two Olympic gold medals, but this will be her first job as a head coach.

Whalen takes over for Marlene Stollings, who is leaving to take over the program at Texas Tech.

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Frank Rajkowski

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