Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen has left WNBA to take over as coach of Baylor̵7;s women’s basketball team, the school announced on Monday.
She replaces Kim Mulkey, who passed away last week to coach LSU.Current Atlanta assistant Mike Petersen serves as Dream’s interim head coach, which begins the season on May 14.
“Nicki is a passionate, great-minded young woman lead and a game teacher,” Baylor Sports Director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. Of us in preparing champions for life by Excellent on and off the pitch Nicki’s professional experience will be invaluable in developing players to the next level. In addition, she maintains our commitment to the highest level of women’s basketball program. ”
Collen became Dream’s head coach ahead of the 2018 season and was at 38-52 in her three years with Atlanta.Her best season was her first when Dreams ended 23-11 in 2018 and passed. To the WNBA semi-finals
Before she lived up to the dream, Collen was a WNBA assistant for two seasons with the Connecticut Sun.
Collen, who turns 46 on May 13, was a college assistant before moving to the WNBA, working at Florida Gulf Coast, Arkansas, Louisville, Ball State and Colorado State.She worked with her husband Tom Callen in Arkansas. Louisville and Colorado State when he was head coach at those schools. She played colleagues at Purdue and Marquette.
“I’m excited to be the head coach at Baylor University, and I believe it’s one of the country’s top jobs for women’s basketball,” said Collen. This tremendous talent and I am grateful for The unwavering support of the President (Linda) Livingstone and McRodes. The success of this program speaks for itself and I will start working today to ensure that Baylor women’s basketball remains the program of the highest caliber.
Baylor was named senior NaLyssa Smith, winner of the 2021 Wade Trophy and No. 1 on ESPN.com’s top 25 players list for next season, tweeting in response to Collen’s hiring: “Time to go to work. already!”
It’s time to go to work! 💫💫💫 https://t.co/5Ag0UmNYKh
– # 1 (@NaLyssaSmith) May 3, 2021
Collen is scheduled to speak to the media on Tuesday.
Dreams went 7-15 years ago during a season of WNBA in a bubble in Bradenton, Florida. It was a challenging time for Atlanta with players disagreed with Dream’s co-owner and U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler on a number of issues, including her views on the support of the WNBA’s Black Lives Matter movement.
WNBA players support Loeffler’s opponent in Georgia’s US Senate Raphael Warnock race, who won in the runoff election on January 5, 2021.
In February, the Dream franchise was sold to a three-member group led by real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener, who is now the majority owner of the team, Northland Investment Corp. Chairman Suzanne Abair and former WNBA player Renee Montgomery. Two other investors
On April 21, Dream sacked President and General Manager Chris Sienko.The move came just six days after the WNBA draft.
Baylor alum Calani Brown, a key part of Lady Bears’ 2019 title team, responded to the news on Monday on Twitter, saying, “You’re going to shock me … Please, I will. Shocked as well. “
I’m going to shock me … please, I’m shocked too 😩🤷🏾♀️
-. (@ kalanibrown21) May 3, 2021
Petersen joined the Dream team shortly after Collen was hired in late 2017.Previously, he was a college-level head coach and assistant for many years for women’s and men’s basketball. This includes eight seasons leading up to the Wake Forest women’s program.He is also the head coach of the Gonzaga, New Mexico state, TCU and North Texas projects and an adjunct to the Oregon women’s and Minnesota men’s teams.
“We are grateful to Nicki Collen for her hard work coaching Dreams over the past three years. We wish her great success at Baylor University,” the dream said in a statement. “At this time, we are excited to announce the promotion of Mike Petersen from Assistant Coach to Interim Head Coach, who will work closely with Assistant Coach Darius Taylor. They are invaluable members of the Atlanta Dream family and we look forward to it. To be their leader Of the team this season “
Baylor has won three NCAA titles under Mulkey (2005, 2012 and 2019) and a total of 23 Big 12 titles during regular season and league competitions.Mulkey ages 632-104 as Baylor’s head coach from 2000 to 2010. 2021