Nikki Caldwell to LSU

I got the word about 2:30 Pacific time today from one of my best sources that Nikki Caldwell had accepted the Virginia job. Looking at my twitter feed, I wasn’t the only one who heard this, as info began to leak about 5 p.m. PDT. But no, it’s Louisiana State University that’s stealing the brilliant coach away. The story burst about 50 minutes ago.

Though they don’t yet say what her salary will be in Tigerville, you would assume it’s going to be much more than it was at UCLA. It’s been said that the Bruins “have a long history of underpaying coaches.” Don’t know if that’s true, but the whole thing is sad. The air is filled with “coulda been”s, as in what she could have done with the program if she’d kept going.

Caldwell didn’t return my voicemail this afternoon, but I still have one more question: will there still be a team banquet in nine days?

I’m also accepting nominations for a new college team to follow. I might take pro nominations too.

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  1. I'm feeling a little jaded now myself. Because no one really sticks with anything anymore, and it's hard for me to get behind a product. Thank god I only bought one UCLA T-shirt and a pair of sweat pants these past three years.

  2. You should hop on the USC wagon! They're the closest to UCLA as can get… plus they're in Socal. They have great local recruits, a nice arena. What's not to love? Hehehe obviously I'm a USC fan. We need more fans and women's bball supporters like you. But really, things are looking up for them in the near future. Fight On!

  3. 🙂

    You know, Jackson, I may just be a free agent next year. I have personal interest in Loyola Marymount, and I do like Gemelos, Corral and (incoming) Ariya of SC. Not to mention the coaches. I will most def catch some Trojan games. But I think I'll have to be a free agent now.

  4. WOW…i mean wow?! as a Vol fan, i'm happy for Caldwell and i can't blame her for going for the bucks, sorta. on the other hand how does one explain to the team that the head motivator/coach/mom/friend is jumping ship? gosh, that has got to be tough all the way around for all involved parties. i'm stunned. on top of all that, i still haven't gotten over LSU for the way Pokey-business was handled. 'just left a bad taste in my mouth for LSU… wow, just wow

  5. so, why would you abandon the bruins just because nikki has moved on? were you a bruin fan or just a nikki fan?

    at this point, you don't know who will be the next hc. why not wait and see what happens, its a loooooong way til next college season.

    congrats to nikki for getting into a highly visible conference and probably getting a buttload more money to boot.


  6. As a fan and as a taxpayer (in Washington State, admittedly), I find this latest ship-jumping very disappointing.

    Coaches ask student-athletes to commit to their programs and schools, yet …

  7. I am pretty irritated over this. I do agree that money talks, though I heard UCLA made Nikki a pretty hearty offer to stay and she turner it down. I agree with SCAMP about being committed, that was the 1st thing I thought. Nikki had 2 more years on her contract but something lured her away.

    I was a UCLA womens bb fan before Nikki and I will remain one. The kids that play for the Bruins are great kids. It is unfortunate that the person who brought a lot of them there, won't be there to see them continue to shine.

    I feel for the team she is leaving behind and hope whoever the new coach is will continue the great job that Nikki started.

    I do wish Nikki the best ~ but think she got ahead of herself. She was making a name for herself and for UCLA…. But obviously it became all about her…..

  8. Great point, Scamp, about commmittment.

    Gail – very well-put all the way around.

    I'm still very agitated by this entire situation, so who knows what I'll do next year. I have come to be very fond of the Bruin youngsters, so maybe I'll stay. But I'm wondering if Hartman, Boykin, Swain and Foulk will be there at all now.

  9. I am hoping that Tasha and Stacy stay with UCLA and not follow Nikki. I think if they stay then the recruits are likely to stay as well. I think that is where my irritation lies, she recruited these kids, connected with them and their folks…. Now she abandons what she sought.

    One thought I did have is Nikki is from SEC, she was born and bred in the south ~ maybe it's an opportunity for her to be closer to her family.. She recently said she only got home a couple times a year.

    When I think about it, if UCLA made her a decent counter offer, why else would you leave an nationally ranked team who is on the rise, to go elsewhere. LSU is a great team, but they are where the Bruins were when Nikki took over.

    So many questions for Nikki. But I know all Bruins are heart broken.. Nikki was well loved and respected not only by Bruin fans, but by all Pac 10 teams….

  10. Those are all great questions that I wish I had answers to as well. I suppose all will be revealed in time.

    All has been quiet on twitter from Stacie Terry, since the Bruins lost two weeks ago, and Tasha Butts since last week. So who knows what's up with them. Tony Perotti tweeted a few hours ago that Darxia Morris is working out in preparation for the WNBA draft. Interesting, huh?

    I have NO idea what will happen next.

  11. Without knowing specific numbers, it's hard to judge whether UCLA made a "decent" counter-offer or not. Hard to believe that it would come anywhere close to the $900K that Nikki Caldwell will be making at LSU, though.
    Does it make sense that maybe Caldwell is looking long term at the Tennessee position once Pat Summitt retires? First Caldwell brings a UCLA program back from the dead, and now she's got a chance to return to the SEC and bring back LSU. If she can beat Tennessee a few times in conference play, I'd think she'd jump towards the head of the line once Summitt retires. Summitt will be 60 next year; how much longer do you think she'll be coaching, five or six years?