Marlene Stollings Head Coach
In Marlene Stollings’ first three years at Minnesota, the Golden Gophers have set records, produced three draft picks and received national recognition. Stollings became the second-fastest coach in Minnesota women’s basketball history to reach 50 wins and holds a 58-38 record at Minnesota. She collected her 100th career victory during the 2016-17 season and was named to the voting committee for the WBCA All-America Team and Wade Trophy.
Coach Marlene has consistently been recognized as one of the nation’s top coaches, earning invitations to prestigious Villa 7 Consortium, and most recently, the esteemed Center for Coaching Excellence at Columbia University. Marlene has shared her gift for developing talent, having mentored 2010 WNBA First Round Draft Pick Bianca Thomas (Ole Miss) and 2011-12 Big South Player of the Year Dequesha McClanhan (Winthrop University). Coach Marlene brings an up-tempo, “high-octane” style to UMN. This comes from her playing career, when she average 22.9 points per game as a senior at Ohio University. Coach Marlene also the all-time scoring record (boys or girls) for the state of Ohio, scoring 3,514 points (over 800 more than LeBron James) on her way to being a Kodak All-American.
Coach Marlene’s staff have over a combined 50 years of coaching experience. Her assistants and camp staff are qualified to give all camp participants the highest level of instruction.
Nikita Dawkins Associate Head Coach
A 24-year coaching veteran and four-time gold medalist with USA Basketball, Niki Dawkins joined the University of Minnesota women's basketball program on April 25, 2014, as the first member of head coach Marlene Stollings’ coaching staff. Dawkins, who was named associate head coach following the 2014-15 season, also serves as the Golden Gophers' recruiting coordinator.
In her first season working with Minnesota's posts, Dawkins helped Amanda Zahui B. and Shae Kelley emerge as one of the top front-court duos in program history. The pair combined to score 1,199 of the Gophers' program-record 2,514 total points, which accounted for 48 percent of Minnesota's scoring output. The duo also pulled down 50 percent of the Maroon and Gold's total rebounds, combining for 735 of Minnesota's 1,461 boards.
Zahui B. was named a first-team All-American by the WBCA, Associated Press, U.S. Basketball Writers Association and espnW, was the media's choice for Big Ten Player of the Year and was the lone unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team by both coaches and media. Kelley also earned a spot on the media's All-Big Ten First Team and the coaches' All-Big Ten Second Team. Both Zahui B., the No. 2 overall pick by the Tulsa Shock, and Kelley (third round pick of the Minnesota Lynx) were selected in the 2015 WNBA Draft.
Gail Striegler Assistant Coach
Gail Striegler, a 25-year coaching veteran, is in her first season as an assistant coach on Marlene Stollings' staff in 2015-16. Striegler spent the previous seven years establishing herself as the winningest head coach in Long Island University Brooklyn women's basketball history.
Striegler has a deep tradition of winning at the highest level of collegiate women's basketball, guiding her teams to three conference championships and eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 run as an assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University in 1996. During her head coaching tenure at the University of Central Florida, she was twice named Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year. Striegler has accumulated over 200 wins and coached eleven nationally ranked recruiting classes.