Jimmy Collins

Jimmy Collins (1946-2020)

Teams coached: UIC Flames
UIC record: 218-208 (.512)
Overall record: 218-208 (.512)

Career Accomplishments:

Awards:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1996-2010 UIC
1983-1996 Illinois (asst)
1973-1974 New Mexico State (grad. asst)

Jimmy Collins Facts

  • James Earl Collins
  • Born November 24, 1946
  • Died December 13, 2020
  • Hometown: Syracuse, New York
  • Alma Mater: New Mexico State University (BA, 1970)
  • After graduating from Corcoran HS (NY), Collins played for head coach Lou Henson at New Mexico State
    • Served as the Aggies’ team captain as a senior and led the team to the 1970 NCAA Final Four
    • Drafted 11th overall in the 1970 NBA Draft and played two seasons for the Chicago Bulls (coached by Dick Motta)
  • Returned to NMSU in 1973 to work as a graduate assistant on Henson’s staff
  • Left the sport for a while, moving back to Chicago and working as a probation officer for Cook County (IL)
    • Became a volunteer head coach at St. Thomas Elementary School in Chicago for three years
  • Became an assistant coach at Illinois in 1983, working again for Henson, who had been at the school since 1975
    • Was on the Illini staff for 13 seasons, where he was part of 10 NCAA Tournaments and the 1989 Final Four run
  • Hired to be the head coach at UIC (Illinois-Chicago) in 1996, leading the Flames for the next fourteen years
  • Collins passed away in December 2020 at the age of 74; survived by his wife, Hettie, and four children, Erica, Kenny, Semaj and Brandi
  • Inducted into the New Mexico State Athletics HOF (c/o 1975) and the UIC Athletics HOF (c/o 2019)

Jimmy Collins Coaching Tree

  • Gene Cross (Erie BayHawks, Toledo)
  • Tracy Dildy (Chicago State)
  • Terrence Gray (Illinois Tech)