The general reaction to Lindsay Whalen being named coach of the Gophers women's basketball team has been overwhelmingly positive, but if fans have one "huh?" moment it's when they learn she also plans to continue playing for the Lynx.
Is that possible? Yes, it's possible. Not only is there precedent, there is a unique circumstance that will make it easier this season.
WNBA players have simultaneously held college coaching positions in the past, including some as head coaches. Perhaps the most notable example is Dawn Staley, who was hired as the Temple women's basketball coach in 2000 and held that job while also playing in the WNBA through 2006.
The WNBA also has a more compact schedule this season to end play before the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. The finals will go no later than Sept. 16, a full two, three weeks before the Gophers women's basketball team starts practice.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.