Bumped. Welcome to the Bruin Nation Coach Caldwell. This sounds like a pretty exciting hire for our women's hoops program. GO BRUINS. -N
Nikki Caldwell has been hired as the new UCLA's women's basketball coach.
"Nikki embodies everything we were looking for in a head coach," said Petrina Long, senior associate athletic director. "She has worked with some of the best coaches in the history of women's basketball, and we look forward to her establishing her own reputation as a great head coach."
Caldwell, 35, is one of the brightest young assistants in the country who has spent the past six years as an assistant for Pat Summitt at Tennessee.
In her 14 seasons as a player and assistant coach, her teams have posted a 404-76 record.
She is known for her ability to recruit high-profile players and design game plans. In fact, Summitt credited Caldwell for much of the team's success at the recent Final Four.
When the Lady Vols defeated Louisiana State with a last-second basket in Sunday's semifinal, Summitt said it was Caldwell who convinced her to let 6-foot-4 forward Candace Parker dribble the ball up the floor and create the game-winning play. Caldwell also helped design the stifling defense that shut down Stanford's high-scoring offense in the championship game.
It looks like another great hire for the Bruins. No, she doesn't have head coaching experience, but she has worked for the best coach in the game today (men's or women's) and has every other qualification you could ask for.
It looks like we've got a coach who can take the women's basketball program to the lofty heights of every other program in Westwood. Welcome to the Bruin family Nikki.