Baylor names Nicki Collen as the new head coach of the Lady Bears

Nicki Collen
Posted at 6:14 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 00:52:42-04

WACO, TX — Just over one week after Kim Mulkey left the Lady Bears for LSU, Baylor has named Nicki Collen as its new Head Women's Basketball Coach.

Collen, a former head coach for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, will be the fifth Head Women's Basketball Coach in the Lady Bears' history.

“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 Mack Rhoades, Baylor's Athletic Director. “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. We welcome Nicki, her husband Tom and children, Connor, Reese and Logan, to the Baylor family.”

“I am thrilled to be the head coach at Baylor University. I believe it is the top job in the country for women’s basketball,” said Collen. “I am excited to begin working with this extremely talented team and I am grateful for the unwavering support of President Livingstone and Mack Rhoades. The success of this program speaks for itself, and I will begin working today to ensure Baylor women’s basketball continues to be a program that excels at the highest levels.”

Before coaching in the WNBA, Colleen coached for nine seasons at the collegiate level. She was an assistant at Colorado State from 2000-2002 for 2 seasons, she spent one year at Ball State (2002-2003), one year at Louisville (2003-2004), three at Arkansas (2011-2014) and two at Florida Gulf Coast (2014-2016). Her record in nine seasons as a Division I assistant was 214-74.

In her nine seasons, she coached three All-Americans and saw three players drafted into the WNBA.

“We are excited to have Nicki lead our women’s basketball program, and we look forward to welcoming her into the Baylor Family,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “I appreciate the work of Mack Rhoades and his team in identifying our next coach who understands our commitment to an elite program, aligns with Baylor’s Christian mission and appreciates how we prepare champions for life at our University. After visiting personally with Coach Collen, I can’t wait to see her and our student-athletes as they represent our great University both on the court and inside the classroom as well as throughout the Waco community.”

Collen started her collegiate playing career for the Purdue Boilermakers, beginning in 1993, when the team mad a run to the Final Four. In her sophomore season, the Boilermakers made it to the Elite Eight. After two seasons, she transferred to Marquette, where she racked up over 400 assists in her final two seasons of eligibility.

Coach Colleen will be formally introduced Wednesday, May 5, at 2:30 in the Ferrell Center.

Some of Coach Collen's accolades:





Collegiate All-Americans Coached

2002 Angie Gorton Colorado State

2004 Sara Nord Louisville

2016 Whitney Knight Florida Gulf Coast

WNBA Draft Picks Coached in College

2003 Tamara Bowie Washington

2012 C’eira Ricketts Phoenix

2016 Whitney Knight Los Angeles

WNBA All-Stars Coached

2017 Jasmine Thomas Connecticut

2017 Alyssa Thomas Connecticut

2018 Angel McCoughtry Atlanta

Collen’s WNBA Head-Coaching Record, Year-By-Year

Year Franchise Conference OVRL Postseason

2018 Atlanta Eastern 23-11 WNBA Semifinals

2019 Atlanta Eastern 8-26

2020 Atlanta Eastern 7-15

Totals 3 Seasons 38-52 1 Appearance

Collen’s WNBA Assistant-Coaching Record, Year-By-Year

Year Franchise Conference OVRL Postseason

2016 Connecticut Eastern 14-20

2017 Connecticut Eastern 21-13 WNBA Second Round

Totals 3 Seasons 35-33 1 Appearance

Collen’s Collegiate Assistant Coaching Record, Year-By-Year

Year School Position OVRL CONF Postseason

2000-01 Colorado State Assistant Coach 25-7 10-4 NCAA-Second

2001-02 Colorado State Assistant Coach 24-7 12-2 NCAA-First

2002-03 Ball State Assistant Coach 18-8 12-4 WNIT-Second

2003-04 Louisville Assistant Coach 20-10 11-3 WNIT-First

2011-12 Arkansas Assistant Coach 24-9 10-6 NCAA-Second

2012-13 Arkansas Assistant Coach 20-13 6-10 WNIT-Second

2013-14 Arkansas Assistant Coach 19-11 6-10

2014-15 Florida Gulf Coast Assistant Coach 31-3 14-0 NCAA-Second

2015-16 Florida Gulf Coast Assistant Coach 33-6 14-0 WNIT-Finals

Totals 9 Seasons 214-74 95-39 8 Appearances