Nicole Powell was named the eighth head coach in GCU women's basketball program history on April 11, 2017. She enters her second season at the helm in 2018-19.
In her first year as head coach, Powell led the Lopes to a 16-14 record and the 2018 WAC Tournament semifinals. With a No. 3 seed, the Lopes defeated sixth-seeded Utah Valley in the opening round before falling to second-seeded CSU Bakersfield in the semifinals. Powell had two players earn postseason All-WAC honors in her first season with senior Brie Mobley on first team and senior Jessica Gajewski on second team.
Powell joined the Lopes after three seasons as an assistant coach for Oregon, which advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship under head coach Kelly Graves before falling to defending champion Connecticut. Powell worked with the Ducks’ frontline and wings, as well as handling game plans and recruiting. Her recruiting efforts helped Oregon secure the No. 3 class in the nation in 2016. The Ducks concluded the 2016-17 season ranked 16th with a 23-14 record, including six wins against top-25 teams.
Prior to joining the Ducks coaching staff, Powell spent the 2013-14 season, her first in coaching, with Graves at Gonzaga. The Phoenix native retired from the WNBA in 2014, concluding an 11-year career.
After her collegiate career at Stanford, Powell was the third overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Charlotte Sting. During her pro career, Powell won a WNBA championship with the Sacramento Monarchs (2005), was named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player (2005) and was selected as a WNBA All-Star (2009). The forward also led the WNBA in 3-point field goals made with 66 in 2005 and was first in free throw percentage in 2007 (96.4) and 2009 (97.9).
Powell ended her collegiate career at Stanford in 2004 as a three-time All-American and a three-time finalist for the James Naismith Player of the Year Award. She scored more than 2,000 points in her four seasons with the Cardinal while grabbing more than 1,000 rebounds. Powell guided the Cardinal to the Elite Eight as a senior in 2003-04 and was named the MVP of the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Region. Powell began her collegiate career as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2000 and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2002 and 2004. Powell helped Stanford accumulate a 105-26 record over her four years, as she averaged 17.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists while posting six triple-doubles.
In addition to her WNBA career, Powell played professionally overseas as well. She helped Fenerbahçe win two Turkish League championships in 2009 and 2010 and also played for CSKA Moscow (Russia), Perfumerias Halcon Avenida (Spain), Basket Spezia (Italy) and Wisla Kraków (Poland). Powell also played with the USA Junior National Team and USA Senior National Team. She won a gold medal with the junior team at the FIBA Americas Championships in 2000 and was one of three captains on the senior team that won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2003.
In her prep career at Mountain Pointe in Phoenix, Powell was a Parade Magazine First-Team All-American (2000) and named the Arizona Player of the Century by The Arizona Republic. During her senior season, she averaged 21.1 points and 15.5 rebounds, leading the Pride to a 30-2 record and a state runner-up finish. She was named Arizona Player of the Year twice, ranks second in Class 5A history with 2,478 career points and holds the state record for any class with 1,820 career rebounds.