WACO, Texas (AP) — WNBA coach Nicki Collen has been hired as the new Baylor women’s coach, taking over a program that won three national championships and the last 11 Big 12 regular season titles.
Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades made the announcement Monday night. Collen, who had coached the Atlanta Dream the past three seasons, replaces Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey and will be formally introduced Wednesday on the Waco campus.
“Nicki is a passionate leader of young women and an elite basketball mind and teacher of the game,” Rhoades said. “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.”
Mulkey left Baylor last month after 21 seasons to return to her home state to take over at LSU. The SEC campus is only about 50 miles from Tickfaw, Louisiana, where Mulkey grew up.
Collen has never been a college head coach, but was an assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast (2014-16), Arkansas (2011-14), Louisville (2003-04), Ball State (2002-03) and Colorado State (2000-02). She was an assistant for her husband during his head coaching tenures at Colorado State, Louisville and Arkansas.
“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. “I am excited to begin working with this extremely talented team and I am grateful for the unwavering support of President (Linda) 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.”
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