Lindsay Whalen named new Gophers women's basketball head coach

Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen is returning to her alma mater as the new head coach of the Gophers women's basketball team. 

U of M Athletics Director Mark Coyle announced the hiring on Thursday. The Hutchinson native will replace Marlene Stollings, who is leaving the Gophers after four seasons to become the new head coach at Texas Tech University. 

But, Whalen is not retiring from the WNBA just yet. As part of her agreement to become head coach, the 35-year-old guard will play this upcoming season for the Lynx, according to a news release. 

"As a started this process with the University of Minnesota, it was important to me that I returned to the Lynx this season," Whalen said in a statement. 

The U of M Board of Regents still has to sign off on the agreement. 

During her time at the U, Whalen was the first three-time All-American in program history, a three-time All-Big Ten selection and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and finished her career as Minnesota's all-time points leader. She led the Gophers to their only Final Four appearance in program history in 2004. 

"Becoming the head coach here at the U and being a Gopher again is a dream come true," Whalen said in a statement. "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 has won four WNBA championships with the Lynx and has two Olympic gold medals. She announced in February she is retiring from international competition.