Nicki Collen - Baylor University - 2 Player Actionby Texas High School Coaches Association
Lecture delivered at THSCA Coaching School 2023 - Houston, TX
Nicki Collen - Baylor University - GIRLS
Nicki Collen enters her third season at the helm of Baylor Women’s Basketball in 2023-24. In her first season with the Bears, Collen recorded the most wins by a rookie head coach in the country with 28. She helped lead the Bears to their 12th-straight Big 12 regular-season title and their 11th-straight top-two seed in the NCAA Tournament. After her first season ended, Collen saw three of her players be selected in the 2022 WNBA Draft, tying a program record. Two of them - NaLyssa Smith (No. 2) and Queen Egbo (No. 10) marked the first duo to be taken in the top 10 in program history. In year two, the Bears secured 20 wins for the 23rd-straight year, which is the second-longest active streak among Division I programs. Collen led Baylor to its 19th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022-23 and 21st overall, as the Bears erased an 18-point deficit to win their opening-round game against Alabama.
Collen came to Baylor from the WNBA’s Atlanta franchise, where she spent the last three seasons at the helm for the Dream. Her rookie season in Atlanta resulted in a 23-11 season in 2018, where she earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors and helped the franchise to the WNBA Playoff Semifinals. Collen’s collegiate coaching career spanned nine seasons before her WNBA arrival. She spent two seasons as an assistant at Colorado State from 2000-2002, one season at Ball State from 2002-2003, one at Louisville from 2003-2004, three at Arkansas from 2011-2014, and two at Florida Gulf Coast from 2014-2016.