Baylor hires Nicki Collen as WBB head coach

FILE - Atlanta Dream head coach Nicki Collen calls out instructions during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Dallas Wings in Bradenton, Fla., in this Sunday, July 26, 2020, file photo. Collen was preparing for a fourth season as head coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, even leading them through practice Monday, May 3, 2021, before being named that night the new coach for the Lady Bears' program that Kim Mulkey built into a national power the past 21 years. Collen is expected to be formally introduced as the coach at Baylor Wednesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

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.”