Doug Collins says son Chris is ‘ready’ for a head-coaching job
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media March 17, 2012 11:44PM
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Updated: April 19, 2012 8:45AM
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins’ daughter went to Lehigh, and a rare NCAA tournament victory for the school typically is celebrated by the family.
But considering Collins’ son, Chris, is an associate head coach at Duke, the Mountain Hawks’ upset Friday of the Blue Devils left the family in a somber mood.
What might help to lift their spirits is that the end of Duke’s season might mark the beginning of another chapter in Chris’ life. The younger Collins, who has been an assistant at Duke since 2000, has been linked to head-coaching jobs at Illinois and Northwestern.
‘‘He’s paid his dues, he’s been a longtime assistant and he’s ready,’’ Doug Collins said. ‘‘He’s ready for the right situation, and I don’t know what that’s going to be.
‘‘But everybody at some point in time wants to put their fingerprints on a program.’’
Collins was hesitant to comment on his son’s interest in the Northwestern job, considering that Bill Carmody hasn’t been dismissed yet, but said his son is interested in the vacancy at Illinois.
Of the names mentioned for the Illinois job, Chris Collins has the most experience recruiting in the state — an obvious pipeline for the Illini and Wildcats.
Chris, 35, is credited with recruiting Jon Scheyer to Duke and swaying him from Illinois. Scheyer played his high school basketball at Glenbrook North for Dave Weber, the brother of recently fired Illini coach Bruce Weber.
‘‘He’s recruited in this area,’’ Doug Collins said. ‘‘He’s come in and got some of the best players in Illinois to go to Duke, and I just think he’s going to be a terrific young coach. That sounds like maybe a proud daddy — and I am — but I’ve watched him.”
The success of Mike Krzyzewski’s assistants has been mixed. Former Duke aides Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Tommy Amaker of Harvard got their teams into the NCAA tournament this year, but both lost in the first round.
Quin Snyder was a heralded assistant at Duke who was mired in scandal as the head coach at Missouri. He was an assistant with the 76ers last season and now is on the Los Angeles Lakers’ staff.
‘‘Chris would not be in the business if it was just going out to recruit,’’ Doug Collins said. ‘‘And Coach K, thank God, has given him a chance to be on the floor and do that.’’