Tom Collen Biography
University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Tom Collen was born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1953. After receiving a degree in Physical education from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he received masters degrees from Miami university in Health Education (1982) and Recreational Programming (1983). The then served as an assistant coach on the benches of Miami (1981-84), the University of Utah (1984-86), and Purdue (1986-1993).
After spending a decade and a half as an assistant coach, Collen was hired by the University of Arkansas in 1993 to serve as assistant athletic director and recruiting coordinator. During his time as recruiting coordinator (1993-1997), Collen earned a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation and the Razorbacks went to the NCAA Final Four in 1997-98. However, Collen was not there to see his recruit’s greatest accomplishment since he accepted the job to coach Colorado State University in 1997. During his time there, Collen amassed an exceptional 129-33 record and made it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1999.
In 2002, Collen accepted the head coaching job at Miami, but was forced to resign over a resume discrepancy. After a yearlong sabbatical, he then accepted the top job at Louisville in 2003. From 2003-2008, Collen compiled an impressive 87-37 record and made the NCAA tournament three times. Despite his success there, he decided to move back to Arkansas in 2008 and become the head coach of the lady Razorbacks. After a strong recruiting performance and impressive season start in 2008-9, the future looked promising, but catastrophic injuries led to a major fall-off to end the season. Moreover, the team finished 2009-10 last in the SEC with a 12-18 record, which makes it the least successful stop of Collen’s career thus far. It remains to be seen if he can turn the program around.
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