Lindsay Whalen was named the next head coach of the women’s basketball team Thursday.
Whalen will take over the now-vacant head coaching position, opened up by Marlene Stollings’ departure to Texas Tech on Monday.
“I’ve learned from so many great players, coaches and mentors,” Whalen said in a statement. “Now I have a chance to share that knowledge and help shape the new generation of Gopher stars. I’m ready to get started.”
Whalen has not coached, but has played in the WNBA since she was drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2004. After her five seasons there, Whalen returned home to play for the Lynx. Whalen and the Lynx have won four WNBA titles together since 2011.
The Hutchinson, Minnesota native played for the Gophers from 2000-2004. She led the team to a Final Four appearance in her senior year. Her No. 13 was retired by the program during the first season after her graduation.
Whalen will continue to play in the WNBA for the Lynx this summer as she takes over the coaching position with the Gophers.
“[Whalen] has excelled at everything she has ever done in her life because she’s unflappable, determined and has a legendary work ethic,” athletics director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “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.”
The Gophers finished 24-9 overall last season and 11-5 in conference. They won their first round game in the NCAA tournament against Green Bay before falling to Oregon in the second round.