Lindsay Whalen steps down as Gophers head coach

The University of Minnesota ladies’s basketball crew is now in want of a brand new head coach.

Thursday, a day after the crew was eradicated from the Big Ten Tournament, this system introduced that head coach Lindsay Whalen is stepping down from her position. She’ll stay with this system as a particular assistant to the athletics director via April 12, 2025 — when her contract was set to run out — the college says.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lindsay,” U of M Director of Athletics Mark Coyle . “I want to thank Lindsay for her hard work and dedication as a player and as the head coach of our women’s basketball program. She is one of the greatest alums and ambassadors this University has ever produced and her legacy of being a Minnesota icon is etched in stone.”

“I want to thank Mark and the University for giving me the opportunity to lead this program five years ago,” Whalen mentioned in an announcement. “It was an honor of a lifetime. I am grateful to my assistant coaches and staff and want to thank them for everything they did for our student-athletes during the last five years. We did things the right way and created a lot of memories, but now is the right time for me to step aside and return to being a proud alum. I look forward to supporting and cheering on the next head coach.”

Whalen coached the Gophers from 2018-2023 and compiled an general report of 71-76, together with 32-58 in convention play throughout 5 seasons. The crew misplaced to Thirteenth-seeded Penn State 72-67 within the opening sport of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Target Center, placing the crew’s report for the season at 11-19 (4-14 in convention play).

In her first season on the helm, Whalen’s crew went 21-11 (9-9 in convention play) and made it to the second spherical of the WNIT. However, the promising begin rapidly began going downhill and was by no means fairly in a position to get well, ending 16-15 within the 2019-20 season, 8-13 in 2020-21, and 15-18 final season, all with sub-.500 information in convention play.

Under Whalen, this system inked its highest-ranked recruiting class in historical past in the course of the fall of 2021 however frequent transfers from the roster additionally subtracted key contributors, together with Sara Scalia final spring.

This yr, the crew was led by some younger expertise and, regardless of its report, confirmed some promise to create extra hope going into subsequent season. That makes Whalen’s announcement that rather more stunning.

Coyle says he and Whalen had a number of discussions in current weeks and each felt that now was the most effective time for her to step down. While she was scheduled to seem at a joint press convention with Coyle Thursday afternoon, Whalen didn’t attend, which Coyle attributed to a miscommunication, saying she was nonetheless having discussions together with her employees.

Whalen performed for Minnesota from 2000-04, was this system’s first three-time All-American in class historical past and led the Gophers to their solely Final Four in program historical past. The Hutchinson native then went on to star within the WNBA, together with for the Minnesota Lynx, whom she helped result in 4 WNBA championships. She is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame final yr.

The college says it can conduct a nationwide seek for Whalen’s alternative, who would be the Thirteenth head coach in program historical past.

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