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Since the announcement that Nicki Collen would be leaving the Atlanta Dream for the head coaching job at Baylor, many have taken to Twitter to react to the news.
Baylor men’s coach Scott Drew welcomed Collen to the family, saying that he was “looking forward to working alongside” her.
Kelsey Bibik, head of PR for the Dream, tweeted in her support, saying, “I guess I’m a Baylor fan now.”
I can’t thank @NickiCollen enough for taking a chance on me a few years ago and making my first job in pro sports a breeze. Atlanta won’t be the same without her, but I guess I’m a Baylor fan now 🐻 #SicEm https://t.co/SAWgvVVMBG— Kelsey Bibik (@kelseybibik) May 4, 2021
Director of Basketball Operations for the Dream Brooklyn Cartwright called Waco “so lucky” and said that she couldn’t wait to watch Collen work down in Texas.
ATL is missin it’s favorite basketball coach but Waco is so lucky! Can’t wait to watch you work!! Baylor just got the best & I couldn’t be happier for you! Much love & kick ass!!!@NickiCollen #SicEm https://t.co/ZevOWHfisM— Brooklyn Cartwright (@bkcartwright) May 4, 2021
Former Dream general manager and president Chris Sienko called her “one heck of a coach, and an even better person.” Sienko himself was ousted last month, six days after the WNBA draft.
Curt Miller, current head coach of the Connecticut Sun and Collen’s former boss, called her “one of the best basketball minds in the business.”
A huge congratulations to @NickiCollen! One of the best basketball minds in the business. A loss for the W but a win for the young women she will mentor. Waco thought they saw fashion, buckle up a new shoe 👠 game coming to town. #homerunhire #friendsforlife— Curt Miller (@CurtMillerWBB) May 4, 2021
Dream organization members and players found out about the news prior to practice yesterday morning, according to interim head coach Mike Petersen.
“Darius and I found out yesterday morning that Nicki was as involved as she was before practice,” Peterson said. “A lot of times these things pop in a hurry, we found out then and from that point forward a lot of Zooms… We spent basically all day yesterday meeting and talking and making sure we were doing the right thing for the players in this organization.”
Petersen reiterated, however, that the players were all very supportive of the move.
“Everyone in the organization is just thrilled for Nicki and her family. Baylor is getting a great coach,” Peterson said in a press conference. “Our players are super happy for her.”
Of course, the move wasn’t met without some jokes by current WNBA players and beyond.
Sydney Colson said a lot, without saying much at all.
Dang Nicki Collen was in the scrimmage yellin “🗣let’s go” to the team, but thinking “...to Baylor” in her head 😩 pic.twitter.com/aX4Poc8TQD— Sydney Colson (@SydJColson) May 4, 2021
Dream players after the game: Ay coach— Sydney Colson (@SydJColson) May 4, 2021
Nicki Collen: pic.twitter.com/83melBSqYY
A Magic Johnson meme was brought back into existence.
Everyone picked Nicki Collen to win COY meanwhile Nicki: pic.twitter.com/LgYg42BHjr— Jas (@JasTayler) May 3, 2021
And Bleacher Report’s Arielle Chambers tweeted what we’ve all been thinking: of all the powerhouses down in Texas, which cheer gym will her daughter be joining?
So with Coach Nicki Collen going to Texas, knowing that she's an all-star cheer mom, I wonder which gym her daughter will switch to 👀 Cheer Athletics 👀👀 Spirit of Texas 👀👀👀 What's Worlds lookin like for the Collen household???— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) May 4, 2021
Collen will be formally announced as the next head coach of the Baylor Bears in a Wednesday press conference on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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