The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired University of California, Berkeley women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb to be an assistant on first-year head coach John Beilein’s staff, the team announced Wednesday. 

It’s a historic hire for the NBA, as Gottlieb is the first women’s collegiate head coach to be recruited to a team’s staff, according to ESPN.

She is expected to have a role comparable to only two female coaching peers in the league, per ESPN: San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and former Sacramento Kings assistant Nancy Lieberman.

“The vision for the Cavs’ future is compelling and I look forward to helping make it a reality,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “At the same time, on a personal level, I am honored to hopefully impact young girls and women to be empowered to pursue their own visions and to be inspired to turn them into reality as well.”

Gottlieb took the Golden Bears to the program’s first-ever Elite Eight and Final Four in 2013 and led Cal to a combined 179-89 record during her eight years as head coach, including seven NCAA tournament appearances. 

Beilein, who was hired in May after 12 seasons as head coach at the University of Michigan, said Gottlieb “truly values and embraces player development and a culture of winning basketball habits.

“Her success at Cal Berkeley speaks for itself and her insight in our meetings, practices and games will hold tremendous value. After sitting with her, it was easy to see how she will connect quickly with our staff and our players, and we all benefit because of that connection. I’m looking forward to merging all of her years of experience and vision for the game with our current and future coaching staff.”

The Cavaliers are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but they have some young, talented players to build around, as well as the fifth overall pick in the June 20 draft.

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