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Tom Collen Named Vanderbilt Women's Basketball Head Coach, Collen has led Colorado State to a five year record of 129-33 5/1/02

The Collen File
Coaching Honors and Accomplishments
Career Record
Quotes
Press Conference Video
Press Conference Photo Gallery

Tom Collen has been named coach of the Vanderbilt women's basketball team today, Director of Athletics Todd Turner announced.

Collen, 48, is a proven winner and recruiter who has spent the past five years as head coach at Colorado State where he compiled a 129-33 record (.796) and earned five post-season tournaments appearances, four in the NCAA and one to the WNIT. Last season he led the Rams to a 24-7 mark and the NCAA Tournament.

He becomes the fourth coach in program history and succeeds Jim Foster, who recently accepted a position at Ohio State University.

"I have been in the coaching profession for 21 years waiting for my dream job ... and this is it," Collen said. "I have always wanted to be a part of a tremendous academic institution that is committed to athletics. I'd say that Vanderbilt is at the forefront."

In 21 seasons at the collegiate level as an assistant, associate and head coach, Collen never has had a losing season. He was named national coach of the year by the Women's Basketball Journal and the Women's Basketball News Service and WBCA District VII and Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year following the 1998-99 season when CSU went 33-3 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

He became the fifth-fastest Division I-A active coach to win 100 career games when his team defeated San Diego State 55-54 on February 3, 2001. Only Leon Barmore (Louisiana Tech), Royce Chadwick (Stephen F. Austin), Kay Yow (North Carolina State) and Jody Conradt (Texas) did so in fewer contests.

Last season, Collen's team won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship, while winning the Mountain West Tournament Title in 2000. All five of his CSU teams won at least 23 games, and there he coached two All-Americans, Becky Hammon and Katie Cronin.

"Tom Collen is an extremely successful and experienced coach who has learned from the ground up," Turner said. He has been a high school coach, became a college assistant and now is one of the most successful head coaches in the country. He has accomplished this while keeping the academic success of his student-athletes as a priority. He is highly regarded by his peers and is a respected national recruiter."

In the Fall of 2001, his Colorado State team posted a cumulative 3.202 GPA.

Collen joined the Rams in 1998 after four years on the staff at Arkansas (1994-97), the first two as assistant coach and the last two as associate head coach. That promotion in 1995 allowed him to assume a larger role in the day-to-day operations with the Lady Razorbacks in addition to his previous duties as defensive coordinator and national recruiting coordinator. His first recruiting class at Arkansas was ranked among the nation's Top 15 and the next was considered in the top 10. He was instrumental in signing Christy Smith, who earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors, and Parade All-Americans Tennille Adams and Shaka Massey.

"Having spent four years in the Southeastern Conference, I have great respect for the league's women's basketball programs," Collen said. "I do not think there is any doubt it's the premier women's basketball conference in the country."

Prior to Arkansas, Collen spent seven seasons at Purdue (1987-93). During that time the Boilermakers made four trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two Sweet 16 appearances. In 1991, Purdue was ranked as high as third in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Among Collen's notable recruits at Purdue were a pair of Kodak All-Americans Joy Holmes who helped Purdue to the 1991 Big 10 Championship and MaChelle Joseph. Both were named Big 10 Player of the Year during their careers.

His extensive coaching resume also includes stints as assistant coach at the University of Utah for three years (1984-86) at Miami (Ohio). At Utah he was part of teams that went a combined 56-32 and made trips to the WNIT and NCAA Tournaments. At Miami he was part of two conference championship teams, one of which advanced to the AIAW Sweet 16 (1982-83).

Collen was a high school coach for several sports in Logan, Ohio, before he entered the collegiate ranks.

He is a 1977 graduate of Bowling Green with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education.He also earned a Master's of Arts degree with dual majors in physical education and health education from Miami (Ohio).

"I feel in a way that I'm coming home," he said. "I grew up in Ohio but my parents now live on the Tennessee-North Carolina border."

He is married to the former Nicki Taggart.

The Collen File

May, 1, 2002 - Head Coach Vanderbilt
1998 - 2002 Head Coach Colorado State
1995-1997 Associate Head Coach Arkansas
1994-95 Assistant Coach Arkansas
1987-93 Assistant Coach Purdue
1984-86 Assistant Coach Utah
1982-83 Assistant Coach Miami (Ohio)

 

Coaching Honors and Accomplishments

2002 NCAA Tournament First Round
  Mountain West Conference Champion
2001 NCAA Tournament Second Round
  Mountain West Conference Tournament Champion
2000 WNIT Semifinalist
1999 WAC Regular Season Champion (Both divisions)
  Advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time in history
  WBCA District VII Coach of the Year
  Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division Coach of the Year
  Women's Basketball Journal Coach of the Year
  Women's Basketball News Service Coach of the Year
1998 NCAA Tournament Second Round
  WAC Mountain Division Regular Season Champion

Career Records

2001-02 24-7, 12-2 (Mountain West Conference)
2000-01 25-7, 10-4/2nd (Mountain West Conference)
1999-00 23-10, 9-5/T3rd (Mountain West Conference)
1998-99 33-3, 14-0, 1st WAC Mountain Division
1997-98 24-6, 11-3, T/1st WAC Mountain Division
TOTALS 129-33 (.796)

QUOTES

Todd Turner
Vanderbilt Director of Athletic
s

"Tom Collen is an extremely successful and experienced coach who has learned from the ground up. He has been a high school coach, became a college assistant and now is one of the most successful head coaches in the country. He has accomplished this while keeping the academic success of his student-athletes as a priority. He is highly regarded by his peers and is a respected national recruiter."

Gary Blair
Head Coach, University of Arkansas

"Tom Collen came up through the system the right way. He was an assistant at several quality programs, had his first head coaching opportunity after 17 years and then gets into five straight post-season tournaments."

"He will benefit from his experience in the Southeastern Conference. He knows the kinds of preparation necessary and it's one of his strengths. He is very well known and respected by the coaches in the league."

"He's a recruiting guru. He has all the contacts, especially in the Midwest where he is very strong. And working with a name such as Vanderbilt, Tom Collen will get into a lot of homes. One of his best recruits here was Christy Smith and she became one of our best players ever."

Jade Huntington
Former Colorado State Assistant Coach
Vanderbilt point guard, 1989-1992

"Tom is a good fit for Vanderbilt and the Nashville community. He believes in the right things and will go about succeeding in the right way. He's a good coach at both ends of the floor. I think he will do well in the league; he is very familiar with it from his time at Arkansas."

"Tom also knows how to sell a program and will get the right players -- the kind of kids who will succeed not only academically but also athletically."


 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)