Tip-Off Club Luncheon
Featuring Baylor Women's Basketball
Head Coach Nicki Collen
Event held on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021
Baylor Alumni presented a special in-person tour across Texas featuring the Baylor University Women's Basketball Head Coach Nicki Collen.
About our Speaker
Baylor Women's Basketball Head Coach
Nicki Collen was introduced as the fifth Head Coach in Baylor women’s basketball history on May 5, 2021.
Collen comes 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.
Prior to her arrival in Atlanta, she spent two seasons under head coach Curt Miller of the Connecticut Sun, helping the franchise improve from fifth in the East Division to second from 2016 to 2017, respectively.
“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,” said Collen. “I am excited to begin working with this extremely talented team and I am grateful for the unwavering support of President 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.”
Collen’s collegiate coaching career spanned for nine seasons prior to 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.
Her teams’ combined record in nine seasons as an NCAA Division I assistant was 214-74, good for a .743 win percentage. As an assistant, Collen guided four different squads to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the second round in three of those seasons.
She spent six of her nine seasons as an assistant under her husband, Tom Collen’s head-coaching tenures at Colorado State, Louisville and Arkansas. She also discipled under Tracy Roller at Ball State and Karl Smesko at Florida Gulf Coast, who has the third-highest active winning percentage in NCAA Division I. Collen helped the FGCU program to a 64-9 record and the school’s first NCAA Tournament win in her two-year tenure.
In her nine seasons at the collegiate level, Collen coached three All-Americans and saw three players selected in the WNBA Draft.
Collen’s collegiate playing career began at Purdue in 1993-94, when the Boilermakers made an NCAA Final Four run with a 29-5 overall record and a 16-2 mark in the Big Ten. Her sophomore season, Purdue made another deep run with an Elite Eight appearance to go with a 24-8 overall record. She transferred to Marquette, where she tallied 421 assists in her final two seasons, averaging 7.0 per game in her last 60 collegiate games. She helped the Golden Eagles to two-straight NCAA Tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998.
Nicki and her husband Tom have three children, Connor, Reese and Logan.
Questions? Email us at Baylor_Alumni@baylor.edu.