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WNBA star will do double duty as women’s coach at Minnesota

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    Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen scores and is fouled by Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, left, during the second half of Game 2 of the WNBA finals in Minneapolis in September. Whalen to returning to her alma mater as the University of Minnesota’s new women’s basketball coach, athletics director Mark Coyle announced.

MINNEAPOLIS >> Lyndsay Whalen is going to be busy this year: She has been named the new women’s basketball coach at Minnesota, her alma mater, and will continue to play for the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx.

Athletic director Mark Coyle announced Whalen’s hiring today. The 13-year WNBA veteran says becoming coach and being a Gopher again “is a dream come true.”

The WNBA regular season begins in early May and runs through mid-August. The Gophers won’t open their season until October.

Whalen, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, announced in February that she was retiring from international competition after first joining the U.S. team in 2002.

The Hutchinson, Minnesota, native finished her career as Minnesota’s all-time points leader, along with being second all-time in assists and third in steals. Whalen led the Gophers to their only Final Four in program history in 2004. She replaces Marlene Stollings, who left Minnesota after four years to take over the program at Texas Tech.

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