Baylor hires Atlanta Dream HC Nicki Collen as its next HC

Carnac

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Who is Nicki Collen?

Nicki Collen is an American basketball coach and is currently the head women's basketball coach at Baylor University. Wikipedia
Born: May 13, 1975 (age 45 years), Indiana
Coaching career: 2001–present
Spouse: Tom Collen
Team: Atlanta Dream
Education: Purdue University, Marquette University
Height: 5-feet, 5-inches globalsportmatters.com

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Nicki Collen

Baylor women's basketball hires Nicki Collen as Atlanta Dream coach takes over for Kim Mulkey

Baylor University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades announced Monday that former Atlanta Dream Head Coach Nicki Collen would be named the fifth Head Coach in Baylor women's basketball history. Collen will be formally introduced Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.

Today is an exciting day for Baylor University and our women's basketball program. Nicki is a passionate leader of young women and an elite basketball mind and teacher of the game," said Rhoades. "She is a great mission fit who shares in our vision of Preparing Champions for Life by commanding excellence both on and off the court. Nicki's professional experience will be invaluable to developing players for the next level. Her addition sustains our commitment to the women's basketball program at the highest level.

Collen comes to Baylor from the WNBA's Atlanta franchise, where she spent the last three seasons at the helm for the Dream. Her rookie season in Atlanta resulted in a 23-11 season in 2018, where she earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors and helped the franchise to the WNBA Playoff Semifinals.

Prior to her arrival in Atlanta, she spent two season's under head coach Curt Miller of the Connecticut Sun, helping the franchise to improve from fifth in the East Division to second from 2016 to 2017, respectively.

 
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oldude

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The Dream’s 1st preseason game is in 2 days. I assume the assistants will take over for the time being.
 

Carnac

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Will she still be coaching Atlanta this summer? Thought I saw her in some training camp videos.
No. Per Mechelle Voepel (see link below), Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen is leaving the WNBA to take over as coach of the Baylor women's basketball team, the school announced Monday. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for one of the most prestigious programs in the country to find a replacement. On Monday, Baylor announced that former Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen will be the new head coach of the Lady Bears. She will officially be introduced in a ceremony on Wednesday at the team's arena. It will be interesting to see how many of the players on last season's roster she is able to keep.

 
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DefenseBB

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So now the key question is who will she get to be her lead recruiter, I don’t care how good a chef, without the ability to get good ingredients, dinner will be average at best...lobster bisque vs. corn chowder...
 

UConnCat

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I think it's quite underwhelming. Shades of Stephanie White. Zero collegiate head coaching experience and one good WNBA seasons followed by 2 pretty bad ones.
Baylor fans seem lukewarm at best.

She was a college assistant at a few schools before becoming an assistant coach for Curt Miller on the Sun's staff.

Assuming Messer goes with Kim, Collen will need to hire someone to help recruit Texas.
 

HuskyNan

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Baylor fans seem lukewarm at best.

She was a college assistant at a few schools before becoming an assistant coach for Curt Miller on the Sun's staff.

Assuming Messer goes with Kim, Collen will need to hire someone to help recruit Texas.
Her husband is Tom Collen. He has experience recruiting in the South

 
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I think it's quite underwhelming. Shades of Stephanie White. Zero collegiate head coaching experience and one good WNBA seasons followed by 2 pretty bad ones.
I kinda feel the same way. She could be great or she could be white 2.0. In the short term at least she will probably be fine this year, when Egbo, Smith and company leave, a lot of questions loom.
 
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Nalyssa Smith has posted that she is staying, welcoming her new coach. Our Board chat says the same thing a out Queen Egbo, but I haven't seen that yet.

I like the hire. Don't take too seriously the "meh" on our chat board. Those guys and gals only showed up two weeks ago and they'll be long gone within a week. Some of them are first-time posters on our wbb board--tells you something about how to read their comments today.
 
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Nalyssa Smith has posted that she is staying, welcoming her new coach. Our Board chat says the same thing a out Queen Egbo, but I haven't seen that yet.
Good for y'all, I honestly expected the vast majority to stay. Did they confirm Dauda is still on board?
 

UcMiami

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I think it's quite underwhelming. Shades of Stephanie White. Zero collegiate head coaching experience and one good WNBA seasons followed by 2 pretty bad ones.
She has 14 years as an assistant coach in college (most working for her husband Tom Collen) who was a college HC at Colorado St, Louisville, and Arkansas so not completely unfamiliar with the college system - certainly a lot more than White had.
 
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Recruiting TX can wait. The first thing Collen needs to do is to recruit Smith & Egbo and maybe convince Ursin to return for a 5th year.
having been a WNBA head coach is an interesting angle from a recruiting standpoint...........certainly gives her credibility for those looking to go pro......
 

bballnut90

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She has 14 years as an assistant coach in college (most working for her husband Tom Collen) who was a college HC at Colorado St, Louisville, and Arkansas so not completely unfamiliar with the college system - certainly a lot more than White had.
I think it's more like 9 or 10 since she had a gap according to Wikipedia. That's a plus compared to White, but I'm not convinced being an assistant at several good but not great schools will translate to success. Still quite underwhelming IMO considering her recent Dream teams have underperformed and she's taking over a program that in theory should compete for a title and is one of the most dominant schools in women's basketball. I'm not sure she'll be able to land big name recruits or that she even has recruiting connections in Texas. I could see the wheels falling off the bus after this year similar to Nikki McCray at Mississippi State. At least McCray came from a program that had some success.
 
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SimpleDawg

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I think it's more like 9 or 10 since she had a gap according to Wikipedia. That's a plus compared to White, but I'm not convinced being an assistant at several good but not great schools will translate to success. Still quite underwhelming IMO considering her recent Dream teams have underperformed and she's taking over a program that in theory should compete for a title and is one of the most dominant schools in women's basketball. I'm not sure she'll be able to land big name recruits or that she even has recruiting connections in Texas. I could see the wheels falling off the bus after this year similar to Nikki McCray at Mississippi State. At least McCray came from a program that had some success.
It is concerning if Baylor will be able to sustain once the Mulkey players graduate. But I do think Collen at least had that one really good year, and her final 2 bad years could be due to players opting out because of blm and/or chemistry severely disrupted.

It's not a slam hire by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I trust someone who's coached in the WNBA over someone who only has Old Dominion to her resume. Old Dominion in 2020 isn't close to being the same realm of the talent, skill, and acumen required to survive in the SEC.

The good thing is if she's White 2.0 she probably won't last long. Baylor isn't gonna keep themselves in mediocrity for 10 years like LSU.
 

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