Whalen Always Expected to be Back at U of M Someday

April 13, 2018 04:51 PM

Lindsay Whalen always expected this day would come at some point.

Now it's finally here.

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The former Gophers and current Minnesota Lynx standout was officially introduced as the head women's basketball coach at her alma matter at a press conference Friday afternoon at Williams Arena.

RELATED: Whalen Named Head U of M Women's Basketball Coach

"It feels good to be standing at a podium at center court in Williams Arena again," said Whalen, the first three-time All-American in program history, and a three-time All-Big Ten selection who led the Gophers to their only Final Four berth in 2004.

"It's pretty cool. I always figured that sometime in my lifetime this might happen. And it's happening now."

The Hutchinson High School graduate was announced as the school's new head coach Thursday afternoon. She takes over for Marlene Stollings, who is leaving to take over the program at Texas Tech.

The school 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.

Whalen's initial base salary will be $400,000. While she is under contract with the Lynx, her work effort will be .625 full-time equivalent. Her second year salary will be $457,500, third year $496,500, fourth year $521,325, and fifth year $547,391.

Friday, she did not put a timetable on how long she would continue to pull double duty.

"That's something I feel like all of us are on the same page about," she said. "We'll continue to talk after each season about where we're at and how I feel and how we're doing.

"We'll take it this season and then we'll see."

Whalen said she would rely on her coaching staff to help with things like recruiting while she is playing for the Lynx in the summer.

"(We'll do) a lot with the staff," she said. "We'll be in touch every day. We have 17 road games and 17 home games. But I'll have my phone. We'll be in touch. I'll be working hard no matter where I am."

And Whalen said she is ready to take on her first head coaching job.

"I feel prepared thanks to the Hall of Fame coaches I've played for my whole career," she said. "They've taught me so much about what it means to lead a group of women to championship levels."

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KSTP Sports

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