CHICAGO – After leading the team to a remarkable turnaround this past season, Chris Collins is going to get to stick around Evanston for most of the next decade.
The Wildcats men’s basketball coach signed a three-year contract extension on Monday after leading the team back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years this winter. This will keep him at the school from the 2027-2028 season.
Just a year ago many were wondering what Collins’ future might be in Evanston after five-straight losing seasons. Northwestern athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg even put out a statement in March 2022 saying how he wanted to work with Collins to improve the program after the difficult stretch.
Safe to say that coach answered the challenge as he was named the 2022-2023 Big Ten Coach of the Year and Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year.
“The success Coach Collins achieved last season and the momentum he has built around our men’s basketball program is a remarkable accomplishment. Chris is a proven recruiter of high-character student-athletes that represent Northwestern University in a first-class manner both on and off the court,” said Northwestern athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg in a statement. “I am excited to continue working with Chris, and extremely optimistic about the future of Northwestern men’s basketball under his leadership.”
Collins, a native of Northbrook, just completed his tenth season at Northwestern and arguably his best. The team went 22-12, winning a program-record 12 Big Ten games, knocked off their first AP No. 1 team, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.
A seventh-seed in the West Region, the Wildcats defeated Boise State on March 16 in the first round before losing to second-seeded UCLA on March 18 in Sacramento.
“It has been an honor to be the Head Coach at Northwestern University for the last 10 years. The Northwestern community has become our family’s home, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this journey,” said Collins in a statement. “I am thankful to President Schill and Dr. Gragg for showing the confidence in me to continue to lead Northwestern Basketball. It’s a responsibility that I love and embrace.
“To have the opportunity to be a part of accomplishing so many firsts in the history of the basketball program during my tenure has been special, and I can’t wait to get to work to pursue more amazing moments in the future.”
In his ten seasons, Collins has an overall record of 155-162 with two NCAA Tournament appearances and three 20-win seasons.