Lindsay Whalen had discussed resigning her position as the University of Minnesota women's basketball coach last season with athletic director Mark Coyle, but when the decision about her future was made in March, she said she didn't have a choice.

In an interview with Dan Barreiro on KFAN radio Wednesday, Whalen described her final meeting with Coyle the day after the Gophers lost to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament at Target Center.

"In that meeting, I agreed to resign but by that point there wasn't going to be the option that I was going to return," Whalen said.

The stress of the position had gotten to her at times — from trying to be successful for her alma mater and home state to dealing with the transfer portal.

"There was definitely parts of the season that I really, truly, I mean it was a struggle at times," she said. "I was having a hard time eating. … At that point there was definitely some times where I was like, 'I think it would be best for somebody else.'"

She wanted to stay because of her commitment to her players and staff and her competitive nature. While saying she didn't want to speak for Coyle, she noted that athletic directors are on a tight timetable when it comes to making coaching decisions at the end of the season.

As for why she didn't attend a news conference with Coyle announcing the move?

"Honestly I just needed to go home," Whalen said.

Initially, Whalen agreed to stay with the university and work as a special assistant to Coyle but decided to relinquish that role and accept a $215,000 settlement.

She wanted to make a clean break and hoped it would be beneficial to herself and the Gophers.

"That's part of why I really haven't said anything either. I really wanted the dust to settle," Whalen said. "I wanted to move on. I wanted the women on the team to be able to move on. I wanted the program to be able to move on. I think that [new head coach] Dawn [Plitzuweit] is going to do a great job. She has already done a great job."

The end of her coaching career also marked the first pause after a life in basketball, starring as a player for Hutchinson High School, the Gophers and the Lynx. Whalen has been taking time to reset. Playing tennis, boating, going to the cabin and even caddying for her husband Ben Greve, a former Minnesota State Open champion.

She had a few commitments with USA Basketball this summer and said that helped, talking with former coaches who had been in her position and even reaching out to former Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders.

"It's like you rent the whistle," Whalen said. "It's like you oversee the program. But it's not mine."