Charmin Smith returns to Cal as head coach

Charmin Smith leaves New York Liberty to become Cal’s head coach

Nearly three months after leaving her associate head coach position at Cal to become an assistant coach with the New York Liberty, Charmin Smith returns to Berkeley as the head coach. The opening at the Pac-12 school became available last week after Lindsay Gottlieb resigned to become an assistant coach in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’m really excited for Charmin, I’m thrilled for our student-athletes, and I’m very proud of Cal, because I think this is a phenomenal hire all the way around,” Gottlieb said in a release. “Charmin has played and coached in Final Fours, she has two engineering degrees from Stanford, she was my right-hand person for years, and now she’s the head coach at Cal. This women’s basketball program that I care about so much is going to thrive under her leadership and I truly believe the best is in front of us.”

Liberty assistant coach Herb Williams, director of player development Teresa Weatherspoon and video coordinator Barbara Farris will all take on increased responsibilities. A timetable has not been set for Smith’s last game with New York.

“It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Charmin and I’m excited for her as she takes on this new opportunity,” Liberty head coach Katie Smith said. “She is incredibly knowledgeable about the game and that translates into how she coaches and inspires players. We wish her continued success in her new role.”

Smith, a native of St. Louis, spent 12 seasons at Cal after three years as an assistant coach across the Bay at Stanford, her alma mater, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering. During her college playing career she helped the Cardinal reach three Final Fours and earn three Pac-10 titles.

Smith played in the ABL for a year (1997-98) for the Portland Power and spend three years in the WNBA and one year in the Swedish Basketball League before beginning her coaching career at Boston College.

Cal is set to hold a press conference for Smith Tuesday, June 25.

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