Collen was named the 2018 WNBA Coach of the Year
ATLANTA – Atlanta Dream co-owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler announced the Atlanta Dream have picked up the third-year option on head coach Nicki Collen’s contract, taking her through the 2020 season. Terms of the contract were not announced per team policy.
“On the strong foundation of her phenomenal basketball IQ and passion for building our team, Nicki established a tremendous culture that enabled the Dream to achieve our best record in our 11 season history,” co-owners Brock and Loeffler said. “In building a strong staff and bringing out the best in our players, she and the team earned many well-deserved accolades. And because of her relentless drive to build the best team, we are excited to extend Nicki’s contract to ensure we maintain the strong momentum in building on this early success for our players, staff and our fans.”
“I am extremely grateful to Mary and Kelly for their continued belief in my ability to lead this franchise,” Collen said. “While I am very proud of the work we accomplished this season, I am equally excited to continue to build on that success for years to come.”
Collen was named the 2018 WNBA Coach of the Year in her first season leading the Dream. She helped Atlanta to a franchise record 23 wins and the No. 2 seed in the 2018 WNBA Playoffs. Her team matched a franchise-best 13 home wins and won a record 10 games on the road. The team ultimately fell in Game 5 of the WNBA Semifinals, playing without 2018 All-Star Angel McCoughtry and forward Damiris Dantas due to injuries. Atlanta was the only team in 2018 to beat eventual WNBA Champions Seattle twice during the regular season.
Under Collen’s tutelage, guard Tiffany Hayes was named to the All-WNBA First Team and All-Defensive Second Team, while forward Jessica Breland earned All-Defensive First Team honors.
The 2018 Dream team achieved numerous milestones along the way, including scoring a franchise-best 109 points against Las Vegas on August 7, 2018. The team won a team record eight straight games from July 8-July 24 and finished the regular season winners of 15 of its final 17 games. The 2018 squad showed a knack for winning close games, finishing 11-0 in games decided by six points or less in the regular season and was 17-0 in games they led entering the fourth quarter.
Prior to coaching a game, Collen made an immediate impact by signing two-time WNBA Champion Renee Montgomery and former All-Star Breland as free agents. She also brought back McCoughtry, who sat out the 2017 WNBA season. Collen has also been able to lock up the Dream core by signing 2017 WNBA All-Star Elizabeth Williams and Hayes to contract extensions. Midway through the season, the Dream traded for guard Alex Bentley, who went out to be a key contributor to the team’s second-half success.
2019 Atlanta Dream Season Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit atlantadream.net or call 877.977.7729.
Atlanta has qualified for the playoffs eight times, winning conference titles in 2013, 2011 and 2010.