Baylor names new coach for Lady Bears Basketball

Local Sports

Baylor University officially named Nicki Collen as the new Lady Bears Women’s Basketball coach.

Nicki Collen will replace Kim Mulkey, who left Baylor after more than 20 years to lead the Women’s Basketball program at LSU last month.

Most recently, Collen helmed the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream franchise for three seasons. During her first year, the team went 23-11 and she earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors. The Dream went to the WNBA Playoff Semifinals.

Before her time in Atlanta, she spent two seasons with head coach Curt Miller of the Connecticut Sun, helping the franchise improve from fifth in the East Division to second from 2016 to 2017, respectively.

Collen’s collegiate coaching career spanned for nine seasons prior to her WNBA arrival. She spent two seasons as an assistant at Colorado State from 2000-2002, one season at Ball State from 2002-2003, one at Louisville from 2003-2004, three at Arkansas from 2011-2014 and two at Florida Gulf Coast from 2014-2016.

Her teams’ combined record in nine seasons as an NCAA Division I assistant was 214-74, good for a .743 win percentage. As an assistant, Collen guided four different squads to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the second round in three of those seasons.

She spent six of her nine seasons as an assistant under her husband, Tom Collen’s head-coaching tenures at Colorado State, Louisville and Arkansas. She also discipled under Tracy Roller at Ball State and Karl Smesko at Florida Gulf Coast, who has the third-highest active winning percentage in NCAA Division I. Collen helped the FGCU program to a 64-9 record and the school’s first NCAA Tournament win in her two-year tenure.

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