Steve Kerr conceded Monday that he regrets not hiring a qualified college basketball coach who left the Bay Area to accept a job on the staff of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Seeing former Cal women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb get away from the Warriors' backyard might sting a bit more because she has cited the Warriors coach as one of influences.
“I’m a big fan of Lindsay’s,” Kerr said Monday, shortly before tipoff against the Cavaliers at Chase Center. “I sort of kick myself for not trying to get her on my staff before she left for Cleveland.”
Gottlieb spent eight seasons at Cal, compiling an overall record of 179-89, 88-59 in the Pac-12. She led the Golden Bears in 2012-13 to their only Pac-12 regular-season championship with a team that made the program’s only Elite Eight appearance. Cal reached the NCAA Tournament seven times during her stay.
“There was a part of me that always just assumed that she was going to be the women's coach had Berkeley for a long time, because that was that was a great job,” Kerr said. “When I read the news that she left for Cleveland, it really sort of caught me off guard. And I immediately thought, ‘Why didn't we think of that?’ ”
Kerr’s daughter Maddy and youngest son Nick both attended Cal during Gottlieb’s time in Berkeley. That’s where the Kerr-Gottlieb connection was forged. She attended numerous Golden State practices at the team’s facility in downtown Oakland.
Gottlieb initially was hired by John Beilein, who was left the University of Michigan to coach in the NBA with the Cavaliers. When Beilein was fired after only 54 games, J.B. Bickerstaff was promoted and remained head coach this season.
Bickerstaff retained Gottlieb, who has developed a strong relationship with players and staff. She has said that she took the NBA job because it would allow her to impact women on a broader scale than she could at Cal.
“I'm really, really happy for her,” Kerr said. “She's made a place for herself in the NBA and she's a really good coach, a really fun person to be around.”