Nicki Collen

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Nicki Collen
Atlanta Dream
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1975-05-13) May 13, 1975 (age 44)
Career information
Playing career1993–1997
Coaching career2001–present
Career history
As player:
1997BCM Alexandros
As coach:
2001–2003Colorado State (assistant)
2003Ball State (assistant)
2003–2005Louisville (assistant)
2011-2014Arkansas (assistant)
2014–2015Florida Gulf Coast (assistant)
20152017Connecticut Sun (assistant)
2018–presentAtlanta Dream
Career highlights and awards

Nicki Collen (née Taggart) (born May 13, 1975) is an American basketball coach and is currently the head coach for the Atlanta Dream.

Early life[edit]

Collen was born in Indiana and her family moved to Platteville, Wisconsin when she was 10 years old. While living in Wisconsin, Collen attended basketball camps with Bo Ryan.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Collen began her playing career at Purdue, where she was on a team that made consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994 and 1995 and won consecutive Big 10 Championships. During her junior year, she transferred to Marquette, where she led the team to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. She earned all conference honors while at Marquette and was ranked third nationally in assists during her senior season.[2] After her college career, Collen played one year of professional basketball in Greece with BCM Alexandros.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Collen began her coaching career at Colorado State as an assistant. After her tenure there, she was an assistant at Ball State, Louisville, and Arkansas, before moving to Florida Gulf Coast. While at Florida Gulf Coast, she helped the 2014–2015 team to a historic 31–3 record.[4] Collen coached under Curt Miller with the Connecticut Sun after her time as a college assistant. Collen helped the Sun turn around from a 14–20 finish in 2016 to a 21–13 record in 2017.[5]

On October 30, 2017, Collen was announced as the head coach of the Atlanta Dream. Collen took over for Michael Cooper after the Dream finished 12–22 in 2017.[6]

2018 season[edit]

Collen led the Dream to a slow start; posting a 2–2 record in May and a 5–6 record in June. June was an up and down month, with the team winning on the road against the Seattle Storm, but giving the Indiana Fever their second win of the season. July saw the team find its form. The Dream posted a 9–2 record, which was tied for the best record in the league. The run moved the team from 9th in the standings to 2nd. Collen lea the team on an eight-game win streak including a perfect 4–0 record on the road. For her efforts, Collen was named WNBA Coach of the Month for July.[7] Collen was again selected WNBA Coach of the Month in August. She led the Dream to a 7–1 record, which secured them the number 2 seed in the playoffs and a bye to the Semifinals. The team's only loss was to Phoenix on the road.[8] The team finished with a 23–11 record, a franchise best.

On August 28, 2018, it was announced that Collen was selected the WNBA Coach of the Year. She received 37 of 39 possible votes for the award. She is the second Dream coach to win the award.[9]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
ATL 2018 34 23 11 .676 1st in East 5 2 3 .400 Lost in WNBA Semi-Finals
Career 34 23 11 .676 5 2 3 .400

Personal life[edit]

Collen is married to basketball coach Tom Collen. The couple have three children.[6]

External links[edit]

Atlanta Dream Bio


  1. ^ Matt Foley (February 20, 2018). "Meet the Rookie WNBA Coach Who Is Married to the Game". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Andres Focil. "Nicki Collen joins hoops staff". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Nicki Collen Named Assistant Women's Basketball Coach". University of Louisville. April 1, 2003. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Nicki Collen". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Former Connecticut assistant Nicki Collen named Dream coach". October 30, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Nicki Collen Named Atlanta Dream Head Coach". WNBA. October 30, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "Atlanta's Collen Named WNBA Coach Of The Month". WNBA. August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Dream's Nicki Collen Named August Coach Of The Month". WNBA. August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Atlanta's Nicki Collen Named 2018 WNBA Coach Of The Year". WNBA. August 28, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.