A di­a­per dandy

Got­tlieb em­braces de­mands of be­ing coach, mom

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTING GREEN - By Ron Kroichick

Cal women’s bas­ket­ball coach Lind­say Got­tlieb is su­per­vis­ing a drill in prac­tice, obliv­i­ous to the baby boy en­ter­tain­ing him­self some 30 feet away.

Mo­ments later, Got­tlieb wan­ders over dur­ing a break. Her son, Jordan, seems ea­ger to see his mom, though he’s re­ally fix­ated on the whis­tle hang­ing around her neck. He cries when she turns back to­ward the court, so she leaves the whis­tle with him and he in­stantly calms down. ( Jordan soon loses in­ter­est, nat­u­rally, and she dis­creetly cir­cles back to re­trieve the whis­tle.)

This is Got­tlieb’s new re­al­ity. It’s her sev­enth sea­son as Cal’s head coach, but her first as the leader of both a Divi­sion I bas­ket­ball pro­gram and a happy, en­er­getic, de­mand­ing baby boy.

Talk about work/life balance: Some­times, at home, Got­tlieb watches video of an up­com­ing op­po­nent while breast­feed­ing. She took Jordan on her team’s tour of New Zealand and Aus­tralia in Au­gust, its East Coast trip in Novem­ber and a whirl­wind re­cruit­ing visit to Ok­la­homa af­ter Thanks­giv­ing.

She and fi­ance Patrick Martin de­cided to blend her two worlds in a dis­tinc­tive way. The fam­ily’s nanny, Angie Lock­ett, comes to Berke­ley ev­ery day with Got­tlieb and Jordan (now 8 months old). He quickly be­came a reg­u­lar pres­ence around the bas­ket­ball of­fice and at prac­tices, soak­ing in at­ten­tion from play­ers and staff mem­bers.

“I’m very for­tu­nate,” Got­tlieb said. “I know most women and fam­i­lies don’t have the lux­ury of be­ing able to have chil­dren and in­te­grate them with your work life, and re­ally not have to sac­ri­fice one or the other.

“My bosses here are re­ally sup­port­ive,

“I hope they’re see­ing you can be a woman and care a lot about your job, and still have a fam­ily.” — Lind­say Got­tlieb, Cal women’s bas­ket­ball coach, on set­ting a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple for her play­ers

and I was able to have chil­dren af­ter I be­came a head coach. So I could set up the sit­u­a­tion I want, and fi­nan­cially have a nanny be part of ev­ery­thing.

“Col­lege athletics are so fam­ily-ori­ented, it’s re­ally neat to in­te­grate the two most im­por­tant things to me — my job and this team, and then my own fam­ily.”

Got­tlieb spent nine years as an as­sis­tant coach (in­clud­ing a stop at Cal) then three years as the head coach at UC Santa Bar­bara be­fore tak­ing over Cal’s pro­gram in 2011. So she fully un­der­stood the time in­ten­sive, all-con­sum­ing na­ture of the job, from coach­ing and scout­ing to re­cruit­ing and pub­lic speak­ing.

She also knew other head coaches found a way to jug­gle their ca­reers and young kids: Adia Barnes at Ari­zona, JR Payne at Colorado, Lisa Fortier at Gon­zaga and, more poignantly, Joanne Boyle at Vir­ginia.

Boyle brought Got­tlieb to the Bay Area in the first place. They worked to­gether at Rich­mond, and Got­tlieb fol­lowed Boyle west when she landed the Cal job in 2005. Got­tlieb later left for UCSB and re­turned to re­place Boyle when she de­parted for Vir­ginia.

Boyle, a sin­gle mom, adopted a lit­tle girl from Sene­gal; Ngoty turns 6 in Fe­bru­ary. Boyle knows first-hand the abun­dant chal­lenges of bal­anc­ing coach­ing and par­ent­ing, and she fig­ures Got­tlieb is well equipped to han­dle it.

“She can mul­ti­task with the best of ’em,” Boyle said.

Boyle has seen the ef­fect chil­dren have on col­lege bas­ket­ball play­ers, of­fer­ing a wel­come di­ver­sion in their jam­packed, stress­ful lives.

“The great­est part is that stu­dent-ath­letes ab­so­lutely love hav­ing kids around,” Boyle said. “It’s a grind to be a col­lege ath­lete, and I think a kid hu­man­izes us as coaches. The play­ers re­al­ize we have a life out­side sports.”

They clearly re­al­ize this at Cal, where on most days Jordan is not the only baby around the of­fice. As­sis­tant coach Kai Fel­ton usu­ally brings her 7-month-old son, We­ston, though he’s more sen­si­tive to noise and doesn’t at­tend prac­tice as of­ten as Jordan.

Jordan sa­vors the sights and sounds of bas­ket­ball. Once, when a prac­tice vis­i­tor blocked his view, he cried un­til the per­son moved out of the way.

He also sat up for the first time dur­ing one prac­tice, draw­ing ex­cited re­ac­tions from sev­eral play­ers. An­other time, dur­ing a pre­sea­son scrim­mage against Gon­zaga, his snor­ing like sounds as he fell asleep re­ver­ber­ated through­out the arena dur­ing a free-throw at­tempt.

Moth­er­hood has forced Got­tlieb to be­come more ef­fi­cient with her time — she doesn’t sleep or work out as much. She oc­ca­sion­ally feels like a rookie head coach again, try­ing to keep her head above wa­ter rather than stay­ing two or three steps ahead.

That trans­lates to fre­quent late-night video ses­sions at home, while Jordan sleeps or spends time with his dad. Martin is a senior fi­nance man­ager for a ge­netic di­ag­nos­tics com­pany in South San Fran­cisco. (He and Got­tlieb are plan­ning a Septem­ber wed­ding.)

“Linds is all-in on bas­ket­ball: She breathes it,” Martin said. “She still has that same in­ten­sity and ap­proach to the game and her job, but I would say Jordan has added a new di­men­sion to her life.”

Said Fel­ton, the as­sis­tant coach: “I think when you’re a mom you have to learn how to adapt quickly. Lind­say said from the start, ‘I’m go­ing to have a son, but my com­mit­ment to the team will re­main the same. It just might look a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.’ She’s stayed true to that.”

Got­tlieb’s typ­i­cal day be­gins with a staff meet­ing. She feeds Jordan be­fore prac­tice, pumps breast milk, runs prac­tice for nearly three hours, and sneaks in a mo­ment with him af­ter he wakes up from his nap. Then she re­treats to her of­fice to get work done while Jordan hangs out with Cal play­ers.

Lock­ett, the nanny, oc­ca­sion­ally takes the baby around cam­pus for a walk, or to a weekly li­brary class.

“They’ll do other things, but to have him be part of my day has eased any ma­ter­nal, ca­reer-woman guilt I might have,” Got­tlieb said.

She adeptly bounces be­tween her roles as mom and coach. Cal senior Mikayla Cowl­ing de­scribed Got­tlieb’s fa­mil­iar in­ten­sity and laser fo­cus dur­ing prac­tice. Then, to hear Cowl­ing tell it, she might pause to say, “Oh, hi Jordan!” be­fore turn­ing around and shout­ing, “Run that play!”

All the while, Got­tlieb finds time to main­tain a strong so­cial me­dia pres­ence. She mixes bas­ket­ball photos with cute shots of Jordan — play­fully lean­ing on ju­nior Asha Thomas’ knee, sit­ting po­litely on the court dur­ing a prac­tice at UConn, smil­ing dur­ing a stop at the Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame in Spring­field, Mass.

This is not ac­ci­den­tal. Got­tlieb has long leaned on Twitter to give fol­low­ers a gen­uine sense of her life as Cal’s head coach. And she sees no rea­son to change now that Jordan has en­tered the pic­ture.

“To me, women’s bas­ket­ball is about con­nec­tion,” she said. “Men’s bas­ket­ball or football, you can put out a sched­ule and peo­ple will come. Women’s bas­ket­ball — whether it’s re­cruits, fans or donors — I think we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to al­low them to know us, or they don’t care as much about our sport.

“So it’s not about me say­ing, ‘Look at me, look at my fam­ily.’ It’s about au­then­ti­cally cre­at­ing a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple feel con­nected. … I want peo­ple to say, ‘This is what Cal women’s bas­ket­ball is re­ally like.’ ”

Along the way, Got­tlieb hopes to set a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple for the 13 young women on her team. She doesn’t say much to them about her chal­leng­ing bal­anc­ing act. She merely plows ahead, em­brac­ing coach­ing and par­ent­ing with equal vigor.

“I hope they’re see­ing you can be a woman and care a lot about your job, and still have a fam­ily,” she said.

Al­ready, lit­tle Jordan has met UConn coach Geno Auriemma, for­mer NBA All-Stars Ja­son Kidd and Gary Pay­ton and two-time Most Valu­able Player Stephen Curry. The agent for Raiders run­ning back (and Cal alum) Mar­shawn Lynch sent a “Beast Mode” one­sie.

Jordan is thriv­ing, and so are the Bears. They’re ranked No. 24 in the na­tion and take a 12-4 record into into Sun­day’s home game against Washington State.

Their coach re­mains as driven as ever, in part be­cause of her new ar­range­ment at the of­fice.

“It makes me more en­gaged and happy to be here,” Got­tlieb said. “I’m not re­sent­ful of the team or com­ing to work ev­ery day, be­cause it’s so bal­anced — and I rec­og­nize how unique that is.”

Paul Chinn / The Chron­i­cle 2017

Cal coach Lind­say Got­tlieb holds son Jordan, who gets at­ten­tion from as­sis­tant coach Kai Fel­ton (right).

Paul Chinn / The Chron­i­cle 2017

Nanny Angie Lock­ett holds then-6-month-old Jordan while his mom, Lind­say Got­tlieb, runs a Cal prac­tice. Hav­ing Jordan at work makes Got­tlieb “more en­gaged and happy to be here.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.