A proven winner and an established, tireless recruiter at every level, Nikita Lowry Dawkins begins her second season as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at VCU.
During her 22-year career as both a head coach and an assistant, Dawkins has participated in five NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Sweet 16, and five league championships (four Colonial Athletic Association and one Horizon League). She has also coached five WNBA players, 15 All-CAA honorees, five CAA All-Defensive Team selections, two All-Atlantic 10 honorees, three All-Horizon recipients, four Tournament MVPs, eight All-Academic selections and four Dean’s List recipients, while also signing several top-rated recruiting classes, including VCU’s 38th-ranked class of 2013. In 2005, Dawkins was named one of the best Head Coach/Assistant Coach combinations in the country.
“It is such a privilege to have someone as decorated as Coach Niki Dawkins on our staff,” said VCU Head Coach Marlene Stollings. “Her coaching accomplishments coupled with her playing accolades will provide our program with invaluable insight. Coach Nik is an experienced and relentless recruiter with an exceptional ability to interact with student-athletes. She will have an immediate impact on our ability to attract top talent.”
As a player at The Ohio State University, Dawkins garnered All-Big Ten First Team honors, Chicago Tribune Player of the Year accolades and Scarlet & Gray Player of the Year status. She is also a member the Big Ten All-Decade Second Team, the Ohio State University All-Century squad, and the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. From 1985-89, Dawkins helped the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances (two Sweet 16’s and two Elite Eight’s), while receiving First Team All-America honors from both Kodak and Street & Smith. She is also the recipient of four gold medals (three as a player; one as a coach), a silver medal, and was named one of the most influential African American athletes to ever play at Ohio State.
“It gives me great pleasure to work with one of the brightest young minds in the game today,” added Dawkins. “Coach Stollings has proven at Winthrop that she is extremely talented, but more importantly a winner. She has just scratched the surface on the impact she will make on women’s basketball in the future. I am extremely excited about being a part of her staff and a tremendous university in VCU.”
Prior to joining the Rams, Dawkins spent seven seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Old Dominion University under legendary head coach Wendy Larry. Combined, Dawkins helped the Lady Monarchs to a 158-67 overall mark, four CAA Tournament titles, which was part of an unprecedented 17 overall league championships, and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2008. Old Dominion remained the dominating force in the CAA during her tenure as Dawkins helped the Lady Monarchs post an astounding 105-21 record in league play during her tenure.
Dawkins has extensive coaching and playing experience, including head coaching stints at New Mexico State and Detroit Mercy, as well as assistant coaching positions at Texas Tech, New Mexico State, Ohio State, and Michigan.
Internationally, Dawkins has been active with USA Basketball both as a coach and a player. In 2002, she was an assistant with the U.S. 20-and-Under squad that won the gold medal at the COPABA Young Women’s World Championships in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. During her collegiate days, Dawkins was a member of two USA Select Teams (1988 & 1990), the World University Team (1989), and the Junior National Team (1987).
Dawkins and her husband, Tony, a men’s college, NBDL and WNBA official, gave birth to twin girl and boy babies, Amani and Isiah, on Sept. 14, 2011.