As you have probably heard, Joanne Boyle left the Cal women’s basketball program to take the head job at the University of Virginia. After about a week long search for her replacement, Sandy Barbour settled on former Cal assistant and UC Santa Barbara.
As for her experience at Cal, it’s obvious that she’s a great coach. If you remember the great Cal teams from several years ago, Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton were both great players for the team in the post. Gottlieb, at least from what I heard, was instrumental in shaping those two into the players that they became. That, combined with the fact the downhill trajectory that the program took after she left, suggests that she’s a very good coach.
As for her time at UCSB, it also points in the direction that she’s a coach who can make the Bears back into a consistent tournament threat. While she reach the NCAA Tournament just once and didn’t win a game at Santa Barbara, she accumulated a 56-39 career record and won two conference championships. She was also named the conference coach of the year once and also reached the postseason in the WNIT.
Also considered were Bowling Green’s Curt Miller and Fresno State’s Adrian Wiggins, both who had more success at the mid-major level. However, her familiarity with the Cal program, combined with her recruiting prowess and success in a short period at UCSB led to the decision being made in her favor. Since she took the job, she’s already done some great work; she secured the commitment of Boyle recruit Erika Johnson, and is presumably already at work keeping Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd. Hopefully the success with Johnson portends more in the future.
With all the negative momentum surrounding the program in recent months, hopefully the hiring of Gottlieb begins to turn the tide. She has certainly seen success in her few stops on the coaching carousel, and we certainly hope that that continues in her tenure as the head coach at Cal. Go Bears!