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Golden Gophers hire alum Whalen as head coach

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Former Minnesota Golden Gopher star Lindsay Whalen has been hired as the women’s basketball head coach at her alma mater on Thursday. Despite her new job, she will continue to play for the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA.

Her deal as the Golden Gophers head coach is pending approval from the school’s Board of Regents.

Lindsay Whalen is seen here taking a shot against the Los Angeles Sparks (Getty Images)

Lindsay Whalen is seen here taking a shot against the Los Angeles Sparks (Getty Images)

“I have so many special memories at the University of Minnesota,” she said. “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.”

She replaces Marlene Stollings, who left the team after the season. Stollings is now the Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach.

This will be the first head coaching job for the 35-year-old. She was a three-time All-American, the first in program history, and was the school’s all-time leading scorer when her collegiate career came to an end.

“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,” Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said. “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.”

Whalen, who began her WNBA career with the Connecticut Sun before being traded to the Lynx eight-years ago, averaged 8 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.5 rebounds in 22 games in the league last season.

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