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  1. #1

    The Illinois State job

    Hope this doesn't count as rumor mongering ... I don't claim to have any inside info, I'm just wondering:

    Tim Jankovich left Illinois State today to become Larry Brown's top assistant and coach-in-waiting at SMU:

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/ncb/story/...-coach-waiting

    That means Illinois State is suddenly without a head coach. Now, they could promote an assistant or hire an out-of-work coach (Seth Greenberg?)

    But I'm just wondering if Chris Collins' name will surface before the job is filled? He's an Illinois native and his father was the greatest star in Illinois State history. I think he was a candidate several years ago when the job opened up. I don't know if he turned it down then or they decided to go a different way.

    Again, no information here -- just wondering if Chris will be a candidate there?

  2. #2
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    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris? I would think that he could get a much higher-profile gig when he decides to branch out.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris? I would think that he could get a much higher-profile gig when he decides to branch out.
    Its my understanding from people in the know, including some posters on this board, that Chris and Wojo are quite happy as assts at Duke (who wouldn't be!? they are among the highest paid assts in the country, they work for and learn from the GOAT, the Duke Athl Dept supports the team very nicely, and they have strong roots in Durham) and, much like Johnny D did, are waiting for the right oppty to open up at a major or high level mid-major. Again, no offense ISUers, but from everything I know this wouldn't seem to qualify.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris? I would think that he could get a much higher-profile gig when he decides to branch out.
    I am not sure I understand why a job in the MVC is "beneath" any first time head coach.

    Chris is probably a fabulous coach, he certainly has a nice resume working for Coach K, and he gives the kind of polished interviews that lead one to believe he'd be a great living room recruiter. To the extent it matters, his Dad is a longtime successful NBA coach.

    All that said, he hasn't ever been a head coach. It was apparent during the Illinois coaching search that his name was never seriously in the mix, despite the self-generated chatter among Duke fans.

    Why wouldn't he try to make a name for himself coaching at a mid-major in a conference where at large bids are not unheard of, in a region of the country where he might have some recruiting advantages.

    Northwestern might appeal to him more -- and might be a better long term fit-- but who knows when that job will open up.

    Just saying, I don't think it would be crazy.

    Was the head coaching job at Delaware "beneath" Mike Brey?

    Was the VCU job "beneath" Jeff Capel?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris? I would think that he could get a much higher-profile gig when he decides to branch out.
    What evidence is there that Chris (or Wo) will get be able to make a jump to a higher profile program? BCS programs, for the most part, want coaches with experience as a head coach. Thinking Chris and Wo are going to be able to simply walk in to a top 20 job isn't realistic.

    Illinois State would be a great opportunity for Chris. Jankovich has a solid roster in place. The MVC has good visibility and there is real opportunity to build a nationally relevant program. Creighton, Wichita State, and SIU before them show that.

    Couple that with Chris's connections in the greater Chicago area, one would think he could recruit well and build at ISU. I think it's a great opportunity, and a better and more realistic starting point for Chris than Illinois or a similar job

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago 1995 View Post
    What evidence is there that Chris (or Wo) will get be able to make a jump to a higher profile program? ... Illinois State would be a great opportunity for Chris. .... I think it's a great opportunity, and a better and more realistic starting point for Chris than Illinois or a similar job
    Illinois State was a great opportunity for Bender, who parlayed it into the University of Washington job.

    Delaware (pre-CAA) was a great opportunity for Brey, who parlayed it into the Notre Dame job.

    I guess Amaker (Seton Hall) and Dawkins (Stanford) made direct, bigger-time jumps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago 1995 View Post
    Couple that with Chris's connections in the greater Chicago area, one would think he could recruit well and build at ISU. I think it's a great opportunity, and a better and more realistic starting point for Chris than Illinois or a similar job
    I agree with Chicago 1995, this seems like a golden opportunity for Coach Collins to move up to a head coaching position. The MVC is a solid league.
    Bob Green
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  8. #8
    Small update from Katz, raising issue of whether Chris would want to coach where his father is a legend.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebaske...z-3-point-shot

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    No offense to any ISUers, but wouldn't that job be kind of beneath Chris? I would think that he could get a much higher-profile gig when he decides to branch out.
    Jankovich was Bill Self's top assistant at KU before he took the job at ISU. Kevin Stallings used it as a stepping stone to Vanderbilt. He also was the top assistant at KU before going to ISU (he was under Roy). So yea, I don't see why that job would be below anybody.

    Actually, it's probably a perfect situation. Get a chance to figure out how to run a program on your own in a small pond, deal with the local media, be the closer in recruiting, etc. College basketball is a lot different these days, assistants don't just roll into blue-blood jobs like they used to.

  10. #10
    Just echoing sentiment ... I think the idea that one of our guys is going to jump to a major program is wishful thinking (Hope I am wrong). While we all think/know that they are great coaches, there are other great coaches who have proved it at the mid-major level (Smart at VCU and McDermott at Creighton). I think the right mid-major is the perfect place for one of our guys to go to cut their teeth as a head coach. I hope nobody's ego is so large to think that the only job worth their while is at a high major.
    My Quick Smells Like French Toast.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monmouth77 View Post
    I am not sure I understand why a job in the MVC is "beneath" any first time head coach.

    Chris is probably a fabulous coach, he certainly has a nice resume working for Coach K, and he gives the kind of polished interviews that lead one to believe he'd be a great living room recruiter. To the extent it matters, his Dad is a longtime successful NBA coach.

    All that said, he hasn't ever been a head coach. It was apparent during the Illinois coaching search that his name was never seriously in the mix, despite the self-generated chatter among Duke fans.

    Why wouldn't he try to make a name for himself coaching at a mid-major in a conference where at large bids are not unheard of, in a region of the country where he might have some recruiting advantages.

    Northwestern might appeal to him more -- and might be a better long term fit-- but who knows when that job will open up.

    Just saying, I don't think it would be crazy.

    Was the head coaching job at Delaware "beneath" Mike Brey?

    Was the VCU job "beneath" Jeff Capel?
    I agree with your overall point, but just wanted to point out that when Capel took over the VCU job, he was an assistant there already, so it was a nice move without actually having to move. Also he was only 27, and thus the youngest HC in the country.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Just echoing sentiment ... I think the idea that one of our guys is going to jump to a major program is wishful thinking (Hope I am wrong). While we all think/know that they are great coaches, there are other great coaches who have proved it at the mid-major level (Smart at VCU and McDermott at Creighton). I think the right mid-major is the perfect place for one of our guys to go to cut their teeth as a head coach. I hope nobody's ego is so large to think that the only job worth their while is at a high major.
    Slight tangent: McDermott is an example of someone who tried to go the path of mid-major => major, but he failed spectacularly at Iowa State. Now that he's back in the MVC, that seems more like his niche.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago 1995 View Post
    What evidence is there that Chris (or Wo) will get be able to make a jump to a higher profile program? BCS programs, for the most part, want coaches with experience as a head coach. Thinking Chris and Wo are going to be able to simply walk in to a top 20 job isn't realistic.
    Here's one piece of evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    and, much like Johnny D did, are waiting for the right oppty to open up at a major or high level mid-major.
    And someone else mentioned Tommy Amaker. Yes, for the most part, BCS schools want some HC experience, but by definition for the most part means there are exceptions. Being a 10+ year assistant under the tutelage of the GOAT at the preeminent basketball program in America gives you a pretty good opportunity to be one of those exceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago 1995 View Post
    Illinois State would be a great opportunity for Chris. Jankovich has a solid roster in place. The MVC has good visibility and there is real opportunity to build a nationally relevant program. Creighton, Wichita State, and SIU before them show that.
    Yes, the MVC has some good programs. You mentioned them, but I don't think ISU is one of them. (In fact I'm not embarrassed to say I've never even heard of them.)

    Creighton has has been to the tournament 7 times since 2000 and the NIT 4 times
    SIU has been to the tournament 6 times since 2000
    WSU has been twice since 2006 and to the NIT 5 times since 2000

    In stark contrast

    ISU has been to the tournament ZERO times since 2000, but went to the NIT 3 times in a row from 08-10.

    So throwing out the MVC as a good conference is fine, and they've have some good success recently, but ISU is not one of the teams that has really helped put them on the map. Could they get to prominence like those teams, as you suggest? Perhaps, but if you're very comfortable and love your current job, and there's precedent to land a job at a major conference where you'll (theoretically) have an easier recruiting, having success, etc. why settle?

    (For the record, I don't have an opinion here, just pointing out what I've heard in terms to what Collins and Wojo are interested in and the facts around the arguments being thrown around)
    Last edited by SilkyJ; 04-27-2012 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    Yes, the MVC has some good programs. You mentioned them, but I don't think ISU is one of them. (In fact I'm not embarrassed to say I've never even heard of them.)

    Creighton has has been to the tournament 7 times since 2000 and the NIT 4 times
    SIU has been to the tournament 6 times since 2000
    WSU has been twice since 2006 and to the NIT 5 times since 2000

    In stark contrast

    ISU has been to the tournament ZERO times since 2000, but went to the NIT 3 times in a row from 08-10.

    So throwing out the MVC as a good conference is fine, and they've have some good success recently, but ISU is not one of the teams that has really helped put them on the map.
    SilkyJ - the challenge associated with accepting the head coach position at Illinois State is to lift the program to the level of Creighton and SIU. Collins could head there and turn the Redbirds into a perennial NCAAT team. I believe Coach Collins is a good fit for the job due to his background.
    Bob Green
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    SilkyJ - the challenge associated with accepting the head coach position at Illinois State is to lift the program to the level of Creighton and SIU. Collins could head there and turn the Redbirds into a perennial NCAAT team. I believe Coach Collins is a good fit for the job due to his background.
    Bob- I get it, and my above post wasn't completely clear. Collins might well be a great fit. He might be able to lift them to that level. I'm not opining on the matter. I'm intending to point out what I've heard about what Collins' and Wojo's desire in terms of fit for a HC job, and ISU does not seem to fit that bill (major, i.e. BCS conference, or high level mid-major).

  16. #16
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    Is there an assistant coach in the country with a better HC profile than Collins?

    I'm not saying it would be the worst thing in the world for him, but his stock seems closer to an Amaker/Snyder than a 27 year-old Capel.

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    I think this is the perfect job for Collins. Most of the BCS jobs that open up come open for a reason. I would rather Collins' (or Wojo's) first HC job be at a mid-major where ideally someone left some talent behind to pursue a bigger job (I do not know if this is the case at Illinois State), rather than take on a rebuilding job at a BCS school that was probably at the bottom of its conference without a lot of talent.

    Doing a bit of research, they finished last season 21-14, losing to Stanford in the second round of the NIT, so this program is not in awful shape. However, it looks like their court is called "Doug Collins Court", which would make the job that much harder for Chris.

    Also note that I am fairly certain that though they are not the official assistants, Collins and Wojo are slated to be unofficial members of the Olympic staff this summer, as I believe they were in Beijing. If Collins were to take over another program, he would have to give that up in order to begin building his program. Not sure he wants to do that, or wait a year and hope something similar comes along.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Small update from Katz, raising issue of whether Chris would want to coach where his father is a legend.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebaske...z-3-point-shot
    I'm sure this will be a Chris Collins family decision. Chris is obviously very happy at Duke. His dad would not want to influence Chris' decision, but trust me, he would be proud beyond words if his boy gets his head coaching start at ISU. Nice, but tough decision forthcoming, if he chooses to interview.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    Here's one piece of evidence



    And someone else mentioned Tommy Amaker. Yes, for the most part, BCS schools want some HC experience, but by definition for the most part means there are exceptions. Being a 10+ year assistant under the tutelage of the GOAT at the preeminent basketball program in America gives you a pretty good opportunity to be one of those exceptions.


    (For the record, I don't have an opinion here, just pointing out what I've heard in terms to what Collins and Wojo are interested in and the facts around the arguments being thrown around)
    Being a long-time assistant for K is obviously a selling point. Just like it was for Tommy, Quin and Johnny. While it may not be fair to Chris and Wojo, the failures of Tommy and Quin at the BCS level and Johnny's middling record and longer than expected rebuild at Stanford hurt the candidacy of Chris and Wojo at the caliber of school they seem to be solely interested in. They might want to start their careers at a BCS level or high mid-major school, but that seems increasingly unrealistic. Collins (and Duke, presumably) couldn't have lobbied harder to try to get his name truly in the mix at Illinois. In a coaching search that ended up most charitably with Plan C, and probably something closer to an wholly uninspiring Plan F, Chris was never considered. I don't doubt they want to walk in to a program like Iowa or Oregon or Rutgers. But looking at the landscape of college basketball as a whole, those programs don't seem interested in assistants. Not when there are head coaches with a track record of success as a head coach that they can hire.

    Programs of that caliber can hire coaches with big time pedigrees not dissimilar to Chris or Wojo who have also actually proved they can win as a head coach. McCaffery assisted at ND and was very successful at Siena. Rice assisted at Pitt and was successful at Robert Morris. Heck, Illinois hired a guy that was lauded as an assistant for Matta, and honestly, has a middling record as a head coach, highlighted by a two great March runs. When a guy like John Groce gets hired at Illinois, it should be a sign to Chris to readjust his strategy.

    What program is going to go after Chris or Wojo that will fit their too narrow view of an appropriate first job? There have been a number of bad Big East jobs -- Seton Hall, Rutgers, Providence. Neither appears to have been a consideration. Va Tech just hired James Johnson, Seth's former assistant to take over. None of the recent ACC openings appeared to show interest. Big XII or Pac 12? Seems to be a dicey geographic fit, and again, it's not like either of them has been mentioned for any of these openings.

    Not that it matters.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebask...illinois-state

    That reads to me as Chris's polite way of saying, no thanks. I get there's some issue with his dad's legacy, but ISU is about as solid a fit for Chris as a good mid-major opening as you'll get. ISU doesn't have recent basketball tradition, but the MVC has plenty, and it's proven to be a place where a nationally relevant program can be built -- Creighton and Wichita are now, SIU had its turn recently, Bradley and Missouri State have also been there in the last 15 years -- and where a coach can springboard to a BCS level job. In my opinion, as little as that means, it's a great chance for Chris, and if he's holding out on it for a bigger, higher profile opening, I think he'll regret waiting for that ship that doesn't ever seem to be coming in.

    At least he's getting mentioned for job. Wojo? The last and only job I head that was interested in him was Dayton, who instead hired Archie Miller. Wo didn't reciprocate the interest, apparently. If that's not a big enough mid major job, I don't think such a job exists.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago 1995 View Post
    At least he's getting mentioned for job. Wojo? The last and only job I head that was interested in him was Dayton, who instead hired Archie Miller. Wo didn't reciprocate the interest, apparently. If that's not a big enough mid major job, I don't think such a job exists.
    The thing you seem to be overlooking, however, is that Chris and Wojo are extremely happy with their current situations at Duke. It is often publicized that the Duke coaching family is very close, and very well taken-care-of. They simply don't want to leave, UNLESS a golden opportunity arises. They are perfectly aware of the fact that golden opportunities are, well... golden. That is to say, they're pretty rare. But because of the fact that, at the moment, they like where they are in their lives, the two are more than comfortable biding their time until the right situation comes along.

    This all could change in the coming years (with K leaving and growing ambitions), but for the time being, I'd be surprised if either one of them moves to a position that is anything but perfect.
    "With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston

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