By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Winston-Salem State Names Bobby Collins Head Men’s Basketball Coach
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem State University Director of Athletics, Dr. Chico Caldwell has announced that Bobby Collins has been named the seventh head coach of the Rams’ men’s basketball program and will become the first head coach in the Division I men’s basketball era at WSSU.
Collins will lead the Rams into play at the Division I level as the Rams continue their transition from NCAA Division II and the CIAA to the MEAC and the nation’s highest level of intercollegiate athletics (NCAA Division I).
No stranger to the MEAC or Division I play, Collins comes to WSSU following a tenure at Hampton University where he spent four seasons as head men’s basketball coach and was part of the Pirates’ men’s basketball program for 12 years.
During his time at Hampton , Collins was part of three MEAC Championships (one as head coach) and MEAC two runner-up finishes. His 2002-03 season (19-11) capped the winningest first-year head coaching performance in Hampton history.
Among his coaching accomplishments are being a part of a coaching staff at HU that saw the Pirates defeat No.2 seed Iowa State in the 2001 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Prior to his head coaching duties at HU, Collins was a member of a coaching staff that helped the Pirates complete their own transition from NCAA Division II to Division I.
Among his duties he was responsible for recruiting, handling admissions and financial matters, preseason conditioning, academics and community relations.
Collins earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and management in 1991 from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), where he finished as a four-year letterman.
While wearing the Colonel uniform, Collins was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) All-Freshmen Team and Honorable Mention All-OVC as a senior. Following his collegiate career, Collins played in the Helsinki , Finland Classic earning MVP honors.
Collins’ coaching career began as a restricted earnings coach with the Old Dominion Monarchs (1994-95). Under the leadership of former Monarch Head Coach, Jeff Capel, Collins aided the Monarchs to a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship and a first round victory over Villanova University in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Prior to his stint at ODU, Collins served as an admissions counselor at Eastern Kentucky University from 1992-94.
The son of two non-denominational ministers, Collins is the youngest of 10 siblings. He is a native of Southern Pines, North Carolina , where he graduated from Pinecrest High School and helped his squad to an 18-5 and 20-4 overall record during his junior and senior seasons.
In 1984, he earned All-State honors and was conference Player of the Year.
“One of the key things that Coach Collins brings to us is that he knows the MEAC and Division I well. He has proven that he can win in the MEAC, demonstrating his excellence by winning the conference championship last year and earning MEAC Tournament Outstanding Coach honors”, said WSSU Director of Athletics, Dr. Chico Caldwell.
“He has post-season experience not only in the MEAC tournament but in the NCAA tournament and most importantly, he is committed to winning not only on the court, but in the classroom. He comes from an institution [ Hampton University ] of the highest academic standing and his student-athletes do well in the classroom, and that was extremely important to us” WSSU Director of Athletics”.
“Coach Collins is a native of North Carolina and during his tenure at Hampton he recruited and coached quality players from North Carolina and we are certain that he will do that here at WSSU”.
“The championship rings speak for themselves, but his experience speaks even louder as he was an assistant coach at Hampton when the Pirates moved to Division I and he was also a part of the coaching staff at HU that upset the Big 12 champion Iowa State Cyclones in the NCAA Tournament”.
“His experience will be invaluable as we enter into Division I play and we are extremely excited to welcome Coach Collins to the WSSU family.”
Collins will become Winston-Salem State University ’s sixth head men’s basketball coach and will make history as the Rams will participate in their first year of Division I play during the 2006-07 season.
He will lead a historic program that has captured 10 CIAA titles, and the 1967 National Championship. He will lead a talent-laden team that has posted a winning record for ten consecutive seasons.