Northwestern Wildcats Head Coach Chris Collins Gets Another Year to Turn Things Around in Evanston

Northwestern coach Chris Collins will get at least another year to turn around his struggling program.

Collins met with Athletic Director Derrick Gragg on Monday “to discuss the high expectations we have for our men’s basketball program, and the path forward for it," Gragg said in a statement. Gragg also said he “tasked” Collins with “making necessary changes to build towards success in the 2022-23 campaign.”

Collins is 133-150 overall and 56-113 in the Big Ten in nine seasons at Northwestern. He led the Wildcats to their only NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. Since then, they have five straight losing seasons.

Northwestern was 15-16 overall and 7-13 in the Big Ten this season, ending in a 112-76 blowout by Iowa in which the Hawkeyes set Big Ten Tournament records for scoring, field goals and 3-pointers.

Collins, whose dad Doug played and coached in the NBA, seemed like a logical fit when he was hired in March 2013 to replace Bill Carmody, who was fired. Collins grew up about 15 miles from campus in suburban Northbrook, was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois and became a star guard and team captain at Duke from 1993-96. He spent 13 years as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff before leaving for Northwestern.

Gragg, a former AD at Tulsa, was hired in June after nearly a year as an NCAA executive.

He essentially replaced Jim Phillips, who left to become ACC commissioner. Mike Polisky, a longtime deputy AD at Northwestern, was then promoted to the job May 3 but stepped down amid backlash because he was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Big Ten school by former Wildcats cheerleaders.


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