By Michael Schuster
As first year VCU Women’s Basketball Head Coach Marlene Stollings familiarizes herself with a new school, team and city, she can take solace in the knowledge that there will be one familiar face on the bench in assistant Niki Dawkins.
For eight seasons, Dawkins served as a top assistant under renowned Old Dominion Coach Wendy Larry. While Dawkins’ was a member of ODU’s coaching staff the Lady Monarchs were a dominant force in the Colonial Athletic Association, posting a 158-67 record, including 105-21 in league play.
Dawkins helped ODU to four CAA Tournament titles and a 2008 Sweet 16 appearance, and she hopes to bring that same winning mentality with her to VCU, which finished 19-15 last season. Dawkins has coached five WNBA players, 15 All-CAA honorees, five CAA All-Defensive Team selections and has been outstanding on the recruiting trail, signing some of the nation’s best.
As top assistant and recruiting coordinator for the Rams, Dawkins’ nose for talent will be valuable for VCU as it moves into the nationally-recognized Atlantic 10 Conference. High character, the athleticism to run the floor and an ability to score the basketball will be some of the most important qualities Dawkins will look for in recruiting.