Nicki Collen named Atlanta Dream head coach

Photo Credit: Sean D. Elliot/The Day

After the firing of “Showtime” Michael Cooper, the Atlanta Dream have completed their head coaching search.

The find has resulted in former Connecticut Sun assistant Nicki Collen being named the Dream’s new head coach.

I am humbled at the opportunity to become the next Head Coach of the Atlanta Dream and incredibly proud to be associated with a league that empowers women in such a positive way.

–Nicki Collen per a Dream press release

Collen is coming off a 2017 Connecticut Sun season that saw the team advance to the playoffs with a 21-13 record – including head coach Curt Miller being named Coach of the Year and Jonquel Jones being awarded the WNBA’s Most Improved Player.

It is important to specifically thank Curt Miller and the Connecticut Sun organization for giving me my start in this league as well as helping me prepare for this opportunity.

–Nicki Collen per Dream press release.

I am so proud of what we accomplished together and will no doubt miss my Sun family.

Cooper was let go last season as the Dream finished outside the WNBA’s playoff picture with a 12-22 record in a season where the Dream were without Angel McCoughtry, who may make her return to the WNBA next season.

Collen’s coaching career includes stints as an assistant with Colorado State, Louisville, and Florida Gulf Coast University – including an NCAA Tournament victory in the 2014-15 tournament over Oklahoma State. She also is a former player for Purdue who advanced to the Final Four in 1994.

We believe her strong emphasis on player development alongside a disciplined offensive and defensive system will position our talented team to be a playoff contender.


–Dream owners Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock per press release

In addition to the anticipated return of McCoughtry, Collen will also be leading a team that includes 2017 All-Stars Tiffany Hayes, Elizabeth Williams (who finished in the top ten in the W in rebounds averaging over seven per game) and Layshia Clarendon, who was second in the league in assists with 6.6 per contest.

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