Lindsay Whalen ‘overcome with emotion’ after resigning as Minnesota coach

Lindsay Whalen starred as a player for the NCAA's Golden Gophers and WNBA's Lynx. (David Berding/Getty Images)

Lindsay Whalen has resigned as head coach of Minnesota women’s basketball, the school announced Thursday.

During Whalen’s tenure, which began in 2018, the Gophers went 71-76 overall and 32-58 in the Big Ten. Minnesota failed to reach the NCAA Tournament under Whalen, but did make a WNIT appearance in the 2018-19 season.

The Gophers’ 2022-23 season ended Wednesday with a 72-67 loss to Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. They finished with a 11-19 record.

Whalen was scheduled to appear at a press conference with athletic director Mark Coyle but did not do so. While Coyle said she was meeting with staff, Whalen later addressed her absence via her Twitter account.

“Close circuit to all local media: I will be ‘appearing’ and ‘showing up’ for a press conference in the near future,” Whalen wrote. “My sincere apologies for not being there today as I was overcome with emotion in the elevator on my way to the press conference. I am a human being.

“Also I’ve shown up every single day while playing at the U, playing for the Lynx, and coaching at the U. Add up the years. Apologies if this hasn’t been enough. I’ll be available when the time is right.”

Just a year ago, Whalen signed a contract extension that would have taken her through the 2024-25 season. According to the school, Whalen will remain with the university as a special assistant to Coyle.

“Together, we just felt like now is the right time for her to step down,” Coyle told reporters. “She’s still going to be part of our program. She is so much loved in these hallways and these buildings. Obviously, she’s an icon. She’s on the Mount Rushmore in the state of Minnesota.”