USC women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb agrees to contract extension

Southern California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb coaches during the first half.

She coached USC to its first Elite Eight since 1994, won the program’s first conference tournament title in a decade and drew the largest crowd for women’s basketball in Galen Center history. It was just the beginning for Lindsay Gottlieb.

The third-year coach and USC agreed to a contract extension through the 2029-30 season, the university announced Friday, as the Trojans try to continue their success with Gottlieb, national freshman of the year JuJu Watkins and the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class set to join.

“We set out to restore USC to the highest echelon of women’s basketball,” Gottlieb said in a statement, “and the magic we experienced this season was a byproduct of the vision, belief and efforts of so many — our administration, fans, players past and present, and our entire coaching staff. But this is just the beginning. We have much more to accomplish. I’m thrilled to be here for a long time."

Read more: How Lindsay Gottlieb blends family into USC's 'once-in-a-lifetime' season

The Trojans went 29-6 in Gottlieb’s third season at the helm, the most wins for the program since 1985-86, when then-senior Cheryl Miller led the team to the national championship game. USC earned its first No. 1 NCAA seed since Miller’s heyday, hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament at Galen Center and saw home attendance nearly quadruple from the previous season. Gottlieb is 62-31 in three seasons with the Trojans.

Along with her experience at Cal — where she led the Bears to seven NCAA tournaments in eight seasons with an appearance in the Final Four — and in the NBA as an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gottlieb’s recruiting prowess has helped her rapidly rebuild the once-proud Trojans program. She signed Watkins, the No. 1 recruit in the country who became a star in national commercials and by winning national awards, and will add a seven-player recruiting class this season that includes three McDonald’s All-Americans, led by Etiwanda’s Kennedy Smith.

"[Gottlieb] has built a program we are extremely proud of and one that has had an incredible impact on our university and entire community,” USC athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a statement. “Lindsay has led us back to national prominence at a time when the sport is as popular as it’s ever been. The future of USC women’s basketball is extremely bright and we can’t wait to support her and see where we go under her leadership.”

Two USC players were selected in each of the previous two WNBA drafts after the program hadn’t produced a draft pick since 2012. In this month’s draft, McKenzie Forbes and Kaitlyn Davis went 28th and 35th, respectively, while Kadi Sissoko and Okako Adkia heard their names called last year.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.