For Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb, saying her goodbyes to her players was the most difficult part of her decision to accept a job this week as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA.
She had to share the news via “a group message” because the players were not on campus when the news was ready to break.
Ultimately, Gottlieb said she saw the long-term benefits her players might gain from her opportunity.
“Essentially what I said is you need to know how much I agonized over this because of you, but at the end of the day I need to do it for you,” she said, hoping her example of reaching for something special would provide them a template for doing the same in their lives.
Gottlieb promised in some ways she will never leave her players.
“They are strong and resilient wonderful student-athletes at Cal who, believe it or not, don’t need me,” she said. “This university’s incredible. They need each other. They have wonderful support here. I’m not worried about them one bit.
“But I will miss the heck out of them and I will never leave their life.”