Nikki Fargas when she was coaching at UCLA
May 21, 1972 |
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2010)|
Fargas is a native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where she was raised by her mother and attended public schools. She graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1990. She was a member of the school basketball team, coached by Jill Prudden, that won the Tennessee state championship in 1988. As of 2009, she still held the high school's single-season records for total points scored and for successful free throws.
College and career
She attended the University of Tennessee from 1990 to 1994, playing as a guard under coach Pat Summitt on the university's Lady Vols basketball team, which compiled a 118–13 won-loss record during her playing years. Fargas was known for her strong defensive play and her three-point shooting. Her defensive play in the 1991 NCAA tournament final game, in which the Lady Vols defeated the University of Virginia in overtime, was considered a key factor in her team's victory. She was named to Southeastern Conference (SEC) All-Freshman team that same year, and in both her junior and years she received the university's Gloria Ray Leadership Award. Although she missed portions of two seasons due to injuries, her four-year statistics as a three-point shooter, with 128 three-point field goals made out of 364 attempts, place her in the all-time top 10 at Tennessee.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in public relations from the University of Tennessee in 1994, she became a color analyst for Fox Sports Net South broadcasts of Lady Vol basketball games. In 1995 she added the position of color analyst for Fox broadcasts of the SEC Game of the Week, which she continued until 1997, when she became host for sports segments on the Shop at Home Network.
Fargas returned to basketball in 1998 as a member of Pat Summitt's coaching staff, serving as graduate assistant for administration, in which position she served the coaching staff in all aspects of basketball operations during the 1998–1999 season. The following season she joined the University of Virginia as an assistant coach, assuming responsibilities for recruiting, scouting, film exchange, player development, monitoring academic progress and camps. In 2002, she left Virginia to return to the University of Tennessee as an assistant coach for the 2002–03 season and recruiting director beginning in the spring of 2003.
She was appointed head coach for UCLA on April 17, 2008, with a five-year contract valued at nearly $1.5 million, succeeding Kathy Olivier. In her first season as coach, the UCLA team compiled a regular season record of 18 wins and 11 losses. During the 2009–2010 season, her team placed second in the Pac-10 (25–9) and was defeated by second ranked Stanford in the Pac-10 tournament. Her success was unprecedented at UCLA's women's basketball and she sought a large raise in her contract. Despite a reported offer of a generous increase by UCLA, the school could not match the $900,000 annually that LSU offered so she returned to coach in the SEC at LSU.
On April 2, 2011, Louisiana State University announced that Fargas would become the head coach for the LSU Lady Tigers team. Her contracted called for her to be paid $900,000 per season. In four seasons with the Lady Tigers, she has posted a 93–69 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in her first four seasons; however, she has lost more games and posted a lower winning percentage with each passing season which culminated to posting her first losing record in 2016 and missing the NCAA tournament.
Head Coaching Record
|UCLA Bruins (Pac-10 Conference) (2008–2011)|
|2009–10||UCLA||25–9||15–3||2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|2010–11||UCLA||28–5||16–2||2nd||NCAA Second Round|
|UCLA:||72–26 (.735)||40–14 (.741)|
|LSU Lady Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2011–Present)|
|2011–12||LSU||23–11||10–6||4th||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2012–13||LSU||22–12||10–6||6th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2013–14||LSU||21–13||7–9||T-6th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
|2014–15||LSU||17–14||10–6||T-4th||NCAA First Round|
|2016–17||LSU||20–12||8–8||7th||NCAA First Round|
|LSU:||113–83 (.577)||48–46 (.511)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
|Year||School||Record||Winning %||Notes||Final RPI|
|2012||LSU||1–1||.500||Eliminated by (Penn State Lady Lions) in NCAA Second Round||17|
|2013||LSU||2–1||.667||Eliminated by (California Golden Bears) in NCAA Sweet 16||26|
|2014||LSU||2–1||.667||Eliminated by (Louisville Cardinals) in NCAA Sweet 16||15|
|2015||LSU||0–1||.000||Eliminated by (South Florida Bulls) in NCAA First Round||60|
|Totals||5–4||(.556)||4 NCAA First Round (Won 3)
3 NCAA Second Round (Won 2)
2 NCAA Sweet 16
Public service activities
In the company of Holly Warlick, an assistant coach for University of Tennessee women's basketball, Fargas has conducted a series of three long-distance motorcycle road trips, called "Cruisin' for a Cause", to promote awareness of breast cancer and to raise money for research on this disease. In their first trip, in 2007, they rode their Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Berkeley, California to Knoxville, Tennessee. As of 2008, the two women's non-profit organization, Champions for a Cause, had raised nearly $100,000. The 2010 road trip took them through Washington, DC and New York City to Niagara Falls and back.
In May 2009 she received the Woman of Excellence Award from the LadyLike Foundation for her excellence as a coach and for fund-raising activities for breast cancer awareness. Fargas was named 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year by the conference coaches and by the media in her second year of coaching at UCLA.
An uncle, Mike Caldwell, played for the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League. In March 2012, Fargas gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Justice with her husband, former NFL player for the Oakland Raiders Justin Fargas.
- "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 30 Sep 2015.
- "Nikki Fargas Bio". Lsusports.net. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 20 Dec 2015.
- Nikki Caldwell Profile, UCLA Bruins Women's Basketball website, accessed June 10, 2009
- Leean Tupper, Caldwell: Responsibility key to successful life, The Oak Ridger, May 18, 2009
- Nikki Caldwell, University of Tennessee website, accessed June 10, 2009
- Nikki Caldwell is new LSU women's basketball coach, Shreveport Times, April 3, 2011
- Pac-10 Announces 2009–10 Individual Women's Basketball Honors, Pac-10.org, March 11, 2010
- "Coach expects March Madness baby". Theadvocate.com. 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "Former Lady Vol Nikki Caldwell has her baby". WBIR.com. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-04-28.