Lindsay Whalen, one of the most decorated athletes in University of Minnesota history, is returning to the school as women’s basketball coach, the Gophers announced Thursday. And she isn’t leaving the WNBA just yet, either. Whalen will continue playing for the Minnesota Lynx as part of an agreement with the school.
Whalen replaces Marlene Stollings, who left for the same position at Texas Tech on Monday.
“I have so many special memories at the University of Minnesota. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to make more,” Whalen said in a statement. “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.”
Whalen led Minnesota to its only Final Four as a senior in 2004. She was a three-time All-American and went No. 4 to the Connecticut Sun in the 2004 WNBA Draft. Whalen, 35, returned to her home state in 2010 in joining the Lynx, who have since won four championships.