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Baylor women's basketball hires Nicki Collen as new coach

May 4 (UPI) -- Former WNBA Coach of the Year Nicki Collen will replace Kim Mulkey as coach of the Baylor women's basketball team, the school announced.

Baylor hired Collen on Monday. She will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday on the Waco, Texas, campus.

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"I am thrilled to be the head coach at Baylor University," Collen said in a news release. "I believe it is the top job in the country for women's basketball.

"I am excited to begin working with this extremely talented team and I am grateful for the unwavering support of [Baylor President] Linda Livingstone and [athletic director] 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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Hall of Famer Kim Mulkey stepped down as Baylor coach last week to become the coach at LSU. Mulkey led Baylor to three titles and posted a 632-104 record from 2000 to 2021.

Collen became the coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream in 2018. She posted a 38-52 record in three seasons. The Dream went 23-11 and advanced to the WNBA semifinals in her first season. Collen was named Coach of the Year in 2018.

She served as an assistant for the Connecticut Sun for two seasons before she became coach of the Dream.

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Collen also served as an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast, Arkansas, Ball State, Louisville and Colorado State. She played at Marquette and Purdue.

Real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener, Northland Investment Corp. president Suzanne Abair and former WNBA player Renee Montgomery bought the Dream in February.

"[Monday] is an exciting day for Baylor University and our women's basketball program," Rhoades said. "Nicki is a passionate leader of young women and an elite basketball mind and teacher of the game.

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"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."

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