Baylor hires Atlanta Dream HC Nicki Collen as its next HC



SVCBeercats

Roberto "The Great One" Clemente
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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.
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Hiring a ‘home run’ head coach is like catching lightning in a bottle. Pat Summit was hired as a graduate assistant and got promoted to head coach when her predecessor quit. Geno had no division one head coaching experience when he took over UCONN. Coale was a high school coach before Oklahoma. Louisville was Walz’s first head coach job. All of them were the right person in the right place at the right time. I almost think you are better off taking a chance on someone very promising than trying to buy an established head coach. You just don’t know if their style will be successful at another school.
 
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The “more than casual” fans of Baylor WBB like the hire. The t-shirt fans not so much.

Collen had great recommendations across the board, a solid resume, and “fits” Baylor. As a private school, fit is a bigger issue than large state schools. She had good success with the Dream until the top players opted out over the BLM fight with ownership.

Rumors have two top assistants [one a former Baylor player with solid ties to Texas AAU programs, one a coach who previously coached with Collen with long term ties to Atlanta and Florida AAU programs] as targets for Collen to hire. Given the pay scale compared to most programs [other than Texas, Baylor pays ACs at a substantially higher level than most programs in this part of the country], Collen will get her pick among the best options. Although Collen is making less $ than Mulkey was paid, the other budget $$ remain intact. AC pay, recruiting, travel, etc. were not cut. Collen has the budget to build her own legacy.

Obviously, only time will tell of this hire was good [true of any hire]. But in the short term most of the key players are opting to return. Gusters transferred. Top recruit Dauda hasn’t spoken. Ursin is a mystery due to school issues. She wants to use the extra year for nursing degree but Baylor nursing is in Dallas while the main campus is in Waco. That issue may drive her to LSU. If Dauda reports, Baylor is NC caliber [adding the three quality transfers to an already solid roster].
 
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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.
Collen's 1st bad year had nothing to with players opting out. It was basically the same team she had the previous year minus the team's best player Angel McCoughtry.
 

Tonyc

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Well I am going to wish her well and good luck. With all her connections she should be able to find good asst coaches to help her build her team. There are few great recruiters out there and you can judge that by how many top teams remain top teams each season. You have some one year wonders and you have a few that get a few good players and that lasts a few years then they fall from stardom. Geno is one of the all time greats and the greatest thing about Geno is he has maintained or should I say gotten better year after year. He continues to attract great players and continues to set records.
 
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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.
Kim confirmed at the softball game messer is coming to LSU as the associate HC and recruiting coordinator. Brock is not coming. She is still looking to fill spots on her staff.

Kim told Makenzie to focus on having her kid first before anything else. A job will always be available for her in BR. Makes sense to focus on that right now.
 
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oldude

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Kim confirmed at the softball game messer is coming to LSU as the associate HC and recruiting coordinator. Brock is not coming. She is still looking to fill spots on her staff.

Kim told Makenzie to focus on having her kid first before anything else. A job will always be available for her in BR.
Thanks for the update. Do you have any idea if Brock will be retained at Baylor?
 
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Thanks for the update. Do you have any idea if Brock will be retained at Baylor?
I’m assuming he will coach at Baylor if they retain him. If not he will likely retire. He’s up in age and all his family is local, I think Baylor is his last job in terms of coaching. He’s past the point in his life moving and starting over.
 

oldude

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I’m assuming he will coach at Baylor if they retain him. If not he will likely retire. He’s up in age and all his family is local, I think Baylor is his last job in terms of coaching. He’s past the point in his life moving and starting over.
I have always believed that coaching transitions generally work better if a new HC retains at least one member of the outgoing staff that’s familiar with the players, the administration, etc. If Collen doesn’t rehire Brock, that will signal a complete house cleaning which can be challenging when everything she does will inevitably be compared to a HOF coach.
 

SimpleDawg

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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.

It's really hard to pluck a top coach from an established school no matter what caliber program you are. This is obvi.
 

UcMiami

How it is
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What strikes me about the hire: white, married, heterosexual. History suggests that these are at least as important to Baylor as coaching credentials.
I'll give you the second and third, but not the first. I would replace that with Christian. (Reportedly they reached out to GA HC during the process afterall.)
It's really hard to pluck a top coach from an established school no matter what caliber program you are. This is obvi.
And it isn't just plug and play either if you do: GG was a disaster in TX when everyone thought TX had hit the lottery!
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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I’m assuming he will coach at Baylor if they retain him. If not he will likely retire. He’s up in age and all his family is local, I think Baylor is his last job in terms of coaching. He’s past the point in his life moving and starting over.
He just got into the Assistant Coach Hall of Fame, which I had never heard of, with, among others on the women's side, Jolette Law (now at SC) and former Tennessee and elsewhere assistant Al Brown. It was an interesting list, I don't follow men's BB so the only name I recognized was the late Bill Guthrie (NC). Someone from Rutgers, but no idea who he is.
 
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I’m assuming he will coach at Baylor if they retain him. If not he will likely retire. He’s up in age and all his family is local, I think Baylor is his last job in terms of coaching. He’s past the point in his life moving and starting over.
Or he could head to Austin, I believe Vic is in need of a post coach.
 

southie

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Didn’t they just hire someone?
Not a replacement post coach for the departed Johnnie Harris. Texas fans have been wondering what the delay is as Harris left for Auburn like 4-5 weeks ago. Perhaps Vic is waiting on someone to make a decision . . .
 
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Hiring a ‘home run’ head coach is like catching lightning in a bottle. Pat Summit was hired as a graduate assistant and got promoted to head coach when her predecessor quit. Geno had no division one head coaching experience when he took over UCONN. Coale was a high school coach before Oklahoma. Louisville was Walz’s first head coach job. All of them were the right person in the right place at the right time. I almost think you are better off taking a chance on someone very promising than trying to buy an established head coach. You just don’t know if their style will be successful at another school.
Or you could say they brought in the right recruit at the right time. Pat had Edwards, Geno had Bascom, Sherri had Whaley, and Jeff had McCoughtry. I’m not convinced that Collen will keep Baylor at an elite level, history has the odds against her, but who knows maybe Dauda will be that player who will help keep the program relevant.
 
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Collen's 1st bad year had nothing to with players opting out. It was basically the same team she had the previous year minus the team's best player Angel McCoughtry.
McCoughtry, Dantas & Clarendon [the latter two collectively averaging about 31 mpg]. Best player and two rotation players [key subs]. No impact adds. Basically replacing about 30% of the team’s minutes.
 

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