By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer
On Monday, Baylor University announced the hiring of Nicki Collen as the Lady Bears head coach. As the fifth head coach in the program history, Collen will be formally introduced 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.
In welcoming Collen, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades expressed his excitement in the press release.
“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,” Rhoades said. “Nicki’s professional experience will be invaluable to developing players for the next level.”
Collen has spent the last three seasons with the WNBA’s Atlanta franchise coaching the Atlanta Dream, the announcement said. In 2018, she received the WNBA Coach of the Year honor while leading the franchise to the WNBA Playoff Semifinals.
Prior to entering the WNBA, Collen’s collegiate coaching career spanned nine seasons with a combined .743-win percentage. Despite never being a collegiate head coach, Collen has helped lead many teams to the NCAA Tournament, while also coaching three All-Americans and having three players selected in the WNBA Draft.
“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,” Collen said. “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.”