Lynx star Whalen to be Gophers women’s head coach

Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen will become the head coach of the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team following the 2018 WNBA season.

More Lynx coverage

The Gophers announced the plan Thursday just days after the departure of women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings, who accepted the same role at Texas Tech after four seasons in Minnesota. The arrangement must first be approved by the school’s board of regents.

“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.”

The upcoming WNBA season will be the 15th of Whalen’s pro career. She has thus far averaged 11.9 points, 5.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. A four-time WNBA champ, Whalen is a six-time All-Star and has made the All-WNBA First Team three times.

“At every level, basketball has given me so much,” Whalen said in a statement. “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.”

She won Olympic gold and FIBA gold twice, and was named to the WNBA’s “20@20” during the league’s 20th season in 2016.

A native of Hutchinson, Minnesota, Whalen rewrote the Gophers’ record books from 2000-04, becoming the program’s all-time scoring leader and the first three-time All-American in program history.

She was selected fourth overall by the Connecticut Sun in 2004, before returning home to join the Lynx in 2010. Whalen signed a two-year extension on Sept. 15, 2016.