Duke Assistant Earns His Opportunity to Lead
Northwestern fired former coach Bill Carmody after its season ended and tabbed Collins as the top choice to replace him. After interviewing the Duke assistant earlier this week, it apparently didn’t take long for the two to reach a verbal agreement for Collins to take over. Collins is expected to continue coaching at Duke for the remainder of the Blue Devils’ season and then he will transition to Northwestern.
As a Duke fan, I’m sad to see him leave, but this is an opportunity he’s earned.
Collins played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1993-96. He was a fiery guard who wasn’t afraid to take big shots and his passion has carried over to his coaching.
Prior to joining the Duke coaching staff in 2001, Collins worked with Tommy Amaker at Seton Hall and also spent a season in the WNBA with the Detroit Shock. However, the majority of Collins’ time as an assistant coach has been with the Blue Devils.
He has been an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski for the past 12 years, where he has helped guide the Blue Devils to eight ACC Tournament championships and two national championships.
During his time at Duke, Collins is well-known for his work in developing some of the best guards in the history of Duke basketball. Players like Jason Williams, Jon Scheyer, and J.J. Redick all give Collins a tremendous amount of credit for the players they became.
Collins also served as an assistant for the U.S. Men’s National Team, which won Olympic gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.
He also brings a unique pedigree that many can’t compare to in college basketball. Collins’ father, Doug, has over ten years of experience coaching in the NBA and is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
These experiences have made Collins ready to take the next step and lead his own program.
At Northwestern, he will offer an understanding of what it takes to develop a basketball program in an extremely competitive conference while trying to recruit to a school with very high academic standards. In many ways, Duke and Northwestern are very similar and this should be to Collins' advantage.
Moving to Northwestern will be a homecoming of sorts for Chris. He is from Northbrook, Ill., which is a northern Chicago suburb that is only a few miles away from the campus of Northwestern.
If there was a better fit for this job, I can’t think of who it would be. Best of luck to Chris for this opportunity - it’s one he deserves.
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