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Minnesota paid Whalen buyout after ex-coach opted not to stay in admin role

David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lindsay Whalen has decided not to remain in an administrative role at Minnesota following her dismissal as women’s basketball coach.

According to the release agreement between the university and Whalen, first reported Wednesday by the St. Paul Pioneer Press and obtained by The Associated Press, she received a $215,000 buyout that was in her contract for termination without cause.

When the university announced the change on March 2, athletic director Mark Coyle framed the decision as mutual. “Together, we just felt like now is the right time for her to step down,” Coyle said then. “She’s still going to be part of our program."

The release agreement language referred to it as a firing: “The University determined it was in the best interests of the University to make a change to the head coaching position.”

Coyle said at the time the plan was for Whalen to work as a special assistant on fundraising and name, image and likeness opportunities for the Gophers at the same base salary she was scheduled to receive as head coach. Whalen had two years remaining on her contract. Her base salary was $547,000 in 2022-23.

The Gophers finished 11-19 overall and tied for 12th in the Big Ten with a 4-12 record, their fewest wins in 12 years. Whalen, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for her success as a player for Minnesota, with the U.S. Olympic team and in the WNBA, went 71-76 in five seasons with the Gophers.

Minnesota hired Dawn Plitzuweit away from West Virginia on March 18 to replace Whalen.


AP women’s college basketball: and and

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