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Chris Collins brings new life to Northwestern basketball
The Northwestern University Wildcats announced March 27 that Chris Collins, former Duke University associate head coach, will take over as the basketball team’s 24th head coach in its history. The team introduced him to the public during an April 2 press conference.
Collins, who is from the Chicagoland area, met the four critical attributes set out by Jim Phillips, vice president of Northwestern’s Athletics and Recreation, during his search for former Head Coach Bill Carmody’s replacement.
Phillips said Collins was the perfect candidate. He was someone who had already experienced success, was ethically sound, fit the institution well and has had success recruiting. He played for Duke from 1992–96 and joined the Blue Devils’ coaching staff in 2000.
Northwestern has never made it to the NCAA Tournament, but that doesn’t concern Collins; rather, he is embracing the challenge. Collins expects more from the program than just tournament berths. He wants to produce a championship program.
“My goal coming to Northwestern is to build a top notch basketball program,” Collins said. “I want to be here for a long time. And it’s exciting for me to put my imprint on this university [and] on this school.”
Collins will have assistance from his father, who is no stranger to basketball. Doug Collins is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. He was also drafted first by the 76ers in the 1973 NBA draft.
The younger Collins said now that he is older, the friendship he and his father share has become more of a give-and-take relationship where they seek advice from each another.
“The main advice I got from my dad is, ‘Just go in there and be yourself, work hard show out your personality. Go in there and create your own legacy and create your own program.’” Chris Collins said.
Chris said he and his father speak on a daily basis and that he will have input on decisions he makes concerning the Wildcats.
For more in-depth coverage of Chris Collins’ future with the Northwestern Wildcats, pick up a copy of The Columbia Chronicle April 8 or check back at ColumbiaChronicle.com.