Chris Collins will tap into dad's knowledge
April, 2, 2013
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Newly named Northwestern coach Chris Collins didn't dismiss the possibility of his father, Doug, joining his staff at some point in the future, but in the meantime, he said Doug Collins will have input in the Wildcats' program.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty ImagesDoug Collins' wealth of coaching knowledge will be at his son's disposal at Northwestern.
Father and son were in attendance Tuesday at Chris Collins' introductory news conference.
"He's a head coach right now in the NBA," Chris Collins said of his father, who coaches the Philadelphia 76ers. "It would probably be quite a pay cut to be my assistant. No breaks in that end. You never say never to anything. It's something we've always talked about at some point.
"For him, he's so successful in what he does. It's been great for us because the NBA's kind of been his thing, and it's one of the reasons I wanted to be a college coach, so I can do my thing. It's been great for us to be able to support each other with him being in the NBA, me being in college. Whether or not he's on the staff or not, he's going to be part of it. That's how he is. He's definitely going to have a big input on how we're doing things, and I'm sure he'll be around plenty."
Doug Collins said it's always been important to him for Chris to create his own coaching identity.
"It's a very ticklish situation because the one thing that Chris and I have always been able to do is separate work from being a father and a son," he said. "I've always been a resource for him. The thing about it is he's building this program. And I got to be very careful this right here [the media attention], this going on, doesn't detract from him. This is Chris' program. Believe me, I understand that. All I want to do is be there for him.
"We'll talk. As he said before, we talk about my team all the time. I'll say, ''Chris, do you see anything? Anything I can do different?' He might ask me about their team. And we'll continue to do that. But I'd be very, very careful; I'd never want to ever have my shadow cover him up."
This is the first head-coaching job for the 38-year-old Chris Collins, who had been on Mike Krzyzewski's staff at Duke since 2000.
Doug Collins began his coaching career in the college ranks, and spent time at Penn and Arizona State. He was given his first NBA head-coaching job with the Chicago Bulls in 1986, and has since also coached the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and 76ers. He has been with the 76ers since 2010.
"He didn't want to come to the NBA," Doug Collins said of his son. "He wanted to be in college. I think a lot of that was he wanted to separate our lives. ... College wasn't for me just because I couldn't take the recruiting. I think I would have been terrific in a college situation. I couldn't deal with the recruiting aspect. I just couldn't do it."
Doug Collins is confident his son will have success at Northwestern.
"The one thing I've always been afraid of Chris is he's never stepped away from a big moment," Doug Collins said. "If there was a shot to be taken, he would take it. His sophomore year in the Final Four with a team with Grant Hill, Chris took a 3 to try to tie the game. You got to have courage. He's got it.
"People are going to say, ''This guy's crazy about his son.' But yeah, I am. But he's worked it. He's proven it. This is not something that's been handed to him."