When Lindsay Whalen's time as Gophers women's basketball coach ended in March, she agreed to step down and work as a special assistant. Ultimately, she decided against taking that role, choosing to be terminated without cause and accepting a $215,000 settlement, according to university documents.

Whalen, a former Gophers All-America guard and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, had been expected to remain with the athletic department through April 12, 2025. Her role was to be a special assistant to the Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle, who said Whalen could do fundraising work and help the U with name, image and likeness (NIL).

"While Lindsay previously agreed to remain in athletics in a special assistant role when she met with myself and [HR director] Tricia Budke, we respect Lindsay's decision to no longer serve in that capacity," Coyle said in a statement Wednesday. "Lindsay is a Minnesota legend, and we hope that she continues to support the Gophers as a proud alum."

Once Whalen declined the special assistant position, the university referred to section 3.2 of her contract, the university's right to terminate without cause. That section references a $215,000 termination fee if she was let go in Year 5 of her contract. Whalen signed the agreement on April 6.

In her only public comments since leaving the university, Whalen said before last Friday's Lynx game that she didn't know what was next for her after coaching the Gophers.

"Obviously, you move on," Whalen said. "There are certain parts that I'll always miss. It's my alma mater. It was tough, no question. I don't know what's next to be honest with you."

When asked if she would consider coaching again, Whalen said not right now but "never say never."

"I'm going to take a little break and a breather here and kind of see what's next," she added. "I don't know. I'm just kind of enjoying time. I've been traveling a little bit. I enjoy being home, kind of being with family and taking care of the dogs. Picking them up and taking them for walks."

Whalen, who had a 71-76 record in five seasons as Gophers coach, finished her tenure March 2, after going 11-19 last season and tying for 11th place in the Big Ten.

That day, Coyle called it a mutual decision. Whalen had been scheduled to appear with Coyle at a news conference but did not attend.

"My sincere apologies for not being there today as I was overcome with emotion in the elevator on my way to the press conference," Whalen tweeted that day. "I am a human being."

The Gophers replaced Whalen with former West Virginia coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who opened her first summer practice with the team this week.