Baylor hires Atlanta Dream HC Nicki Collen as its next HC



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Hadn’t heard anything yet on Dauda. Heard from Smith, Egbo, Andrews, Bickle, and the Grad Transfer - all staying. Expect more to stay.
Baylor will likely pretty much retain everyone, much like MSU did when Vic left. I personally was not expecting a mass exodus from Baylor. Especially when next years team is very heavy with upperclassmen and kids who had already transferred in.

Gusters was really close with Kim, not too surprised she followed her. She was only a freshmen plus LSU probably will give her much more time than she would at Baylor for this coming year.
 

southie

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All hoopsters have until July 1 to decide to enter the transfer portal. I wouldn't put too much stock into what players are saying the first day their new head coach was hired. Once they have time to get the know the new coach(es), participate in summer workouts, etc., then they'll get a feel for all the changes, and if they're on board with them.
 
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All hoopsters have until July 1 to decide to enter the transfer portal. I wouldn't put too much stock into what players are saying the first day their new head coach was hired. Once they have time to get the know the new coach(es), participate in summer workouts, etc., then they'll get a feel for all the changes, and if they're on board with them.
I thought July 1st was the date you have to decide, you can still enter it now?
 

southie

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I thought July 1st was the date you have to decide, you can still enter it now?
Athletes must submit to their school a notification of transfer by certain dates to be immediately eligible at their next location. Fall- and winter-sport athletes would have to notify their schools by May 1, and spring sport athletes would have until July 1. However, because of the timing of the Council’s decision, the fall and winter sports’ notification date will be pushed this summer to July 1—a quasi-deadline day in the college sports world similar to those in professional leagues

 
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Athletes must submit to their school a notification of transfer by certain dates to be immediately eligible at their next location. Fall- and winter-sport athletes would have to notify their schools by May 1, and spring sport athletes would have until July 1. However, because of the timing of the Council’s decision, the fall and winter sports’ notification date will be pushed this summer to July 1—a quasi-deadline day in the college sports world similar to those in professional leagues

Thanks for the clarification. The notification of a decision is what I was confused about.
 

bballnut90

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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.
Nikki coached at ODU for 3 years and turned around the program. She also was an assistant to Dawn for 9 seasons and helped turn the program into a national power and was an assistant on a championship team. Her resume going into last season was a lot better than Collen's is.
 

SimpleDawg

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Nikki coached at ODU for 3 years and turned around the program. She also was an assistant to Dawn for 9 seasons and helped turn the program into a national power and was an assistant on a championship team. Her resume going into last season was a lot better than Collen's is.

Well we could argue this. Assistantship (unless it's within the same university) and weak non-Power 5 conferences (unless you dominate your conference like Gonzaga) means absolutely nothing to me. It's not good to bet on assistants. Sometimes you get a Vic and Jeff, but most of the time you're gonna get someone who piggybacked off of the head coach.

Both are not really strong hires, but for me you gotta at least have something from a level higher than the Conference USA for me to take you seriously.
 

Blueballer

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Maybe Collen will be a great choice but she has no track record as a HC in college. Certainly her credentials exist from all her assistant coaching experience. Recruiting prowess remains to be seen at the elite Div. 1 level. Her husband will be an assett as will her recent HC WNBA success. Tough to follow a coach like Mulkey though.
 

bballnut90

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Well we could argue this. Assistantship (unless it's within the same university) and weak non-Power 5 conferences (unless you dominate your conference like Gonzaga) means absolutely nothing to me. It's not good to bet on assistants. Sometimes you get a Vic and Jeff, but most of the time you're gonna get someone who piggybacked off of the head coach.

Both are not really strong hires, but for me you gotta at least have something from a level higher than the Conference USA for me to take you seriously.

What makes you trust someone with WNBA experience more than someone with mid-major/P5 assistant experience?

Historically speaking, WNBA head coaches who've transitioned over to the collegiate level have largely struggled. I don't believe there is one success story.

Going through the wikipedia page: (link) here are the ones I recognized who coached collegiately after coaching in the W and all struggled:

-Stephanie White (coached in WNBA finals, train wreck at Vanderbilt)
-Van Chancellor (4 WNBA championships, had one good season at LSU before it derailed
-Cynthia Cooper (1 WNBA season coaching, never found much success coaching collegiately)
-Suzie McConnell (former WNBA Coach of the Year with similar track record to Collen, 1 good season with 2 bad ones after, then collegiately only made 1 NCAA tournament in 11 years of coaching)
 
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I wish her well but this just seems .....inexplicable. One of the top four programs in the country, for years, and this is the best they can do? Wow! This makes me really nervous about what is going to happen when Geno & Chris retire! All I can say is, I hope she makes me eat my words. It would be very sad to see a program like Baylor drift into mediocrity.
 

SimpleDawg

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What makes you trust someone with WNBA experience more than someone with mid-major/P5 assistant experience?

Historically speaking, WNBA head coaches who've transitioned over to the collegiate level have largely struggled. I don't believe there is one success story.

Going through the wikipedia page: (link) here are the ones I recognized who coached collegiately after coaching in the W and all struggled:

-Stephanie White (coached in WNBA finals, train wreck at Vanderbilt)
-Van Chancellor (4 WNBA championships, had one good season at LSU before it derailed
-Cynthia Cooper (1 WNBA season coaching, never found much success coaching collegiately)
-Suzie McConnell (former WNBA Coach of the Year with similar track record to Collen, 1 good season with 2 bad ones after, then collegiately only made 1 NCAA tournament in 11 years of coaching)

Yea there hasn't been many examples of WNBA coaches succeeding in college, but I'm sure we can find countless examples of non-Power 5 coaches bombing once they reach a stronger conference, and based on what we've seen of McCray..... that argument is holding really strong.

I'm not meaning this to be an argument in any way. Just me personally...... in a contest between 2 not strong candidates, the WNBA coach gets the nod from me slightly. I'm not really seeing this as a strong hire for Baylor either. And if Mulkey WAS Baylor recruiting, then it'll get bad once the Mulkey players leave. They still might be top half of the conference, but if recruiting starts dropping, we're gonna see a major power shift in Texas.
 

bballnut90

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Yea there hasn't been many examples of WNBA coaches succeeding in college, but I'm sure we can find countless examples of non-Power 5 coaches bombing once they reach a stronger conference, and based on what we've seen of McCray..... that argument is holding really strong.

I'm not meaning this to be an argument in any way. Just me personally...... in a contest between 2 not strong candidates, the WNBA coach gets the nod from me slightly. I'm not really seeing this as a strong hire for Baylor either. And if Mulkey WAS Baylor recruiting, then it'll get bad once the Mulkey players leave. They still might be top half of the conference, but if recruiting starts dropping, we're gonna see a major power shift in Texas.

To each his/her own, thanks for sharing. We'll see what happens, but I have a hard time seeing Baylor keeping up its recruiting without Kim there unless Collen and her staff are fantastic recruiters. I don't think of Waco as a coveted destination for most high school basketball players and I don't see Collen as a name that will draw in recruits. After next year the only holdovers from Kim's era (assuming they all stay) will likely be Andrews, Carr, Oliver, Owens and Dauda if she stays committed. It'll be a very very different looking Baylor squad in a couple of years.
 
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Good luck to Collen! if anything it shows she has gumption. Is there a tougher act to follow this side of Storrs in the WCBB landscape? a program that wasn't on the map to a national power... How to maintain that level of success and expectation?

It will very interesting to follow her journey...
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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What makes you trust someone with WNBA experience more than someone with mid-major/P5 assistant experience?

Historically speaking, WNBA head coaches who've transitioned over to the collegiate level have largely struggled. I don't believe there is one success story.

Going through the wikipedia page: (link) here are the ones I recognized who coached collegiately after coaching in the W and all struggled:

-Stephanie White (coached in WNBA finals, train wreck at Vanderbilt)
-Van Chancellor (4 WNBA championships, had one good season at LSU before it derailed
-Cynthia Cooper (1 WNBA season coaching, never found much success coaching collegiately)
-Suzie McConnell (former WNBA Coach of the Year with similar track record to Collen, 1 good season with 2 bad ones after, then collegiately only made 1 NCAA tournament in 11 years of coaching)
Also Michael Cooper. Paul Westhead. Probably more. And most not generally successful, as you say.

That said, be nice about Van. He had respectable college success "before" he became a WNBA coach. I think by the time he got to LSU he was just old. I am not a Van fan. Heard him announcing a game this year and he still talks about the bas-keeeeet-baaaalll. I grit my teeth every time.
 
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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...
Actually I love corn chowder, despise lobster bisque.
 

oldude

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I suspect that Baylor’s decision was influenced by TX bringing in Vic last year. While Baylor WBB probably doesn’t concern itself too much with the rest of the Big 12, what in-state rival TX does certainly gets their attention.

Just like TX, Baylor wanted to fill their HC job quickly to tamp down fan angst and limit any additional player/recruit migration to other schools, and they probably wanted a big name college HC. But Waco is not Austin. While Collen has a solid resume, the W is not the place you typically go to find a top D1 WBB coach.

With that said, it would be really interesting to know who else Baylor reached out to about the job. Joni Taylor and Kim Barnes Arico’s names were both mentioned at some point, and both indicated they were staying put at UGA & Michigan respectively. Other top college coaches may also have been contacted and not been interested.

If one top college coach after another was not interested in the Baylor job, I suspect the AD felt considerable pressure to fill the job, so he turned to a second tier coach and he is hoping for the best.
 
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Only knew of her when she became an assistant with the Sun. Was extremely surprised when she got the Atlanta job, but Kurt Miller had nothing but praise for her on that hire. Did a really good job her first year, could be a good hire. Now she just has to get players to believe in her.
 
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Hadn’t heard anything yet on Dauda. Heard from Smith, Egbo, Andrews, Bickle, and the Grad Transfer - all staying. Expect more to stay.
I may have missed this but is Kim’s coaching staff moving with her to LSU?
 

oldude

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I may have missed this but is Kim’s coaching staff moving with her to LSU?
It’s announced that AC Kaylin Rice will be heading to LSU with Mulkey, along with 4 members of her Baylor operations staff. Baylor AC’s Brock & Messer will not be going to LSU. Whether or not Cullen retains them remains to be seen. Also, there is no word on the status of Kim’s daughter, Makenzie Fuller, who worked for her at Baylor.
 

Sifaka

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It’s announced that AC Kaylin Rice will be heading to LSU with Mulkey, along with 4 members of her Baylor operations staff. Baylor AC’s Brock & Messer will not be going to LSU. Whether or not Cullen retains them remains to be seen. Also, there is no word on the status of Kim’s daughter, Makenzie Fuller, who worked for her at Baylor.

There is limited chatter on the Baylor board that Brock is staying, and that Messer is going to join Kim at LSU. Time will tell if this is speculative or real.
If Messer goes, the Baylor situation will be trending towards what GG dealt with in moving from Duke to Texas--a weak connection to the local recruiting scene.
Right now it's mostly gossip and few known facts.

Stay tuned.
 

bballnut90

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Also Michael Cooper. Paul Westhead. Probably more. And most not generally successful, as you say.

That said, be nice about Van. He had respectable college success "before" he became a WNBA coach. I think by the time he got to LSU he was just old. I am not a Van fan. Heard him announcing a game this year and he still talks about the bas-keeeeet-baaaalll. I grit my teeth every time.
I love Van, he was a great coach, just using him as an example to provide more evidence of my theory. A lot of W coaches had success at the collegiate level prior to joining the league and decided to give the WNBA a shot.
 

UcMiami

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Yea there hasn't been many examples of WNBA coaches succeeding in college, but I'm sure we can find countless examples of non-Power 5 coaches bombing once they reach a stronger conference, and based on what we've seen of McCray..... that argument is holding really strong.

I'm not meaning this to be an argument in any way. Just me personally...... in a contest between 2 not strong candidates, the WNBA coach gets the nod from me slightly. I'm not really seeing this as a strong hire for Baylor either. And if Mulkey WAS Baylor recruiting, then it'll get bad once the Mulkey players leave. They still might be top half of the conference, but if recruiting starts dropping, we're gonna see a major power shift in Texas.
I love this idea that Big programs can just buy their next coach and raid Louisville or whatever other established program coach is hot. The only ones that I can think of that did that is Texas twice with GG and Vic, and now LSU with Kim - with GG and Kim they were already on the outs with their school/AD, and everyone knew Vic was headed back to Texas as soon as a good job showed up. I don't even include Mike Neighbors as 1) he wasn't really 'established' at Washington and left the place after his one good class graduated, 2) he was headed home, 3) he left the cupboard empty - I don't think Jody Wynn was responsible for 1-17 in the Pac her first season.

The fact is the choices for HC for all programs most of the time are: 1) really good assistant coaches at really good programs, 2) really good HC at lower level D1 programs, 3) itinerant HC at P5 programs that have not established themselves/their program, 4) really good coaches at really good programs at D2/D3 level. It appears that WNBA HC is a now also being tapped. Another one to add to that list was Seton Hall hiring Anne Donovan - also not a success. Most HC hires are mediocre at best in WCBB, MCBB, and FBS - it is a tough, competitive world in college sports and D1 and even P5 is full of mediocre programs in all sports many of which have always been mediocre.

The bright spot for this hire is that WNBA HC is a small part of the resume and college assistant is a larger portion of the resume - one also hopes her husband provides some extra support in the intricacies of being a college HC.

It also appears that they reached out to at least one of the 'itinerant P5' HC before settling on this hire.
 

UConnCat

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Another one to add to that list was Seton Hall hiring Anne Donovan - also not a success.
Good one. Completely forgot about Anne at SH. WNBA championship and Olympic Gold medal on her coaching resume.
 

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