The name mentioned most frequently with Northwestern's now-vacant head coaching position is Illinois native Chris Collins, who has been rumored to be in the mix for years. But is this just another pipe dream, or is the Duke assistant actually interested?
The hottest name in the Northwestern basketball coaching search is Duke assistant Chris Collins - but would Mike Krzyzewski's second-in-command even take the Northwestern job?
It seems like a perfect fit. Collins, the son of longtime NBA coach Doug Collins, an assistant at a wildly successful basketball program at Duke. Krzyzewski, one of the game's most respected minds, liked him enough to promote him to "associate head coach", a title that implies he's more important than other assistants on the staff there. He's experienced at getting guys to a school with academic standards for athletes, and comes from the North Chicago suburbs, playing at Glenbrook North, and recruited Jon Scheyer from GBN to go to Duke, so he gets the area. And this would provide him a major conference coaching job - something not necessarily likely to open up at Duke anytime in this lifetime, even if he has been groomed as Coach K's successor.
And as such, he always pops up in Northwestern coaching rumors. When Bill Carmody was on the hot seat last year, his name popped up - here, look at the Sun-Times. And when Teddy Greenstein listed a host of potential Carmody replacements last week, Collins was No. 1 on the list. From behind the paywall:
Duke's associate head coach could give NU officials what they crave — a basketball version of Pat Fitzgerald. Both were born in 1974 and have a son named Ryan.
And oh, dear goodness, let's just take a look at Twitter:
Chris Collins is getting a lot of love for the Northwestern job. Would do a great job there. Can recruit.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielsFOX) March 16, 2013
I think Chris Collins would be the perfect fit for NW @espnandykatz— Sean Farnham (@SeanFarnham) March 16, 2013
So, yeah. People think the guy would be good at Northwestern. And, well, it's hard to disagree.
But how likely is it that he comes to Northwestern? It's always seemed Collins was more than a pipe dream than a reality. Loretta8 took a look at these rumors last year, and found it wasn't easy to read through:
So let's follow the progression: Chris Collins said nothing about whether or not he would be interested in coaching at Northwestern....then an implication Chris Collins would be interested in coaching at Northwestern.
Collins would be a near-perfect hire for Northwestern. Local connections, talent, recruiting ability, youth, and excitement. It's everything you could want.
Andy Katz reports that sources indicate Collins would be interested. The ball is likely in Collins' court - we'll see if he's interested.