California brings back Lindsay Gottlieb

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Lindsay Gottlieb is returning to California as the Golden Bears' head coach.

Cal on Monday hired Gottlieb away from UC Santa Barbara to replace the departed Joanne Boyle, who accepted the Virginia job earlier this month. Gottlieb went 56-39 in three seasons at UCSB, where she led the Gauchos to a pair of postseason berths and two Big West Conference championships. She was the 2009 Big West Conference coach of the year.

UCSB went 19-12 with a 12-4 conference record last season on the way to the program's second Big West title during Gottlieb's tenure. The Gauchos lost in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament to Southern California.

Gottlieb coached the Bears under Boyle from 2005-08, the latter as associate head coach. She also worked with Boyle at Richmond.

"I am both excited and humbled to return to Cal as the head women's basketball coach," Gottlieb said. "When I set foot on campus six years ago, I felt Cal could be a gem in the women's basketball landscape. Now I know that to be true. Joanne Boyle and the talented young women who have worn the blue and gold have elevated the program to national prominence and I look forward to taking the baton and helping Cal basketball reach unprecedented heights."

Cal made four consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2006-09 and posted four straight 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. The Bears lost 81-65 at Colorado in the second round of the WNIT last month, finishing with an 18-16 record.

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour was thrilled to recruit Gottlieb back to Berkeley. That familiarity should make for a smooth, quick transition for everyone involved, Barbour said.

"She's exactly what we were looking for and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to attract a coach of her caliber," Barbour said. "Coach Gottlieb is an exceedingly smart, talented and dedicated coach who is a gifted teacher, mentor and recruiter. I have no doubt that under her leadership the University of California women's basketball program will build on the foundation she inherits, and take the program to new heights athletically, academically and in the community."