Chris Collins to coach N'western

Updated: March 28, 2013, 7:14 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Chris Collins was named the Northwestern men's basketball coach Wednesday night.

Collins, the son of Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins, has been an assistant to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski since 2000. This will be his first head coaching position.

Collins replaces Bill Carmody, who was fired on March 16 after 13 years without an NCAA tournament berth. The Wildcats never have been to the NCAA tournament.

"We're thrilled to welcome Chris, his wife, Kim, and their children, Ryan and Kate, home to Chicago and into the Northwestern family," Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips said in a statement. "He has a tremendous pedigree as a basketball coach and will be an outstanding leader for Chicago's Big Ten Team, and mentor for our student-athletes. After a thorough and comprehensive search process, there is no doubt he is a perfect fit for this institution and our men's basketball program."

Collins grew up in nearby Northbrook, Ill., and attended Glenbrook North High School, where he was named Illinois' Mr. Basketball. He played for Krzyzewski at Duke from 1993-96.

Collins said he was excited to return to the Chicago area and lead Northwestern's program.

"I'm so grateful to President (Morton) Schapiro, Chairman (William) Osborn and Dr. Phillips for the opportunity to lead the men's basketball program at one of the premier universities in the world, to compete in the Big Ten Conference, and to do so in my hometown," Collins said in a statement. "Northwestern University is a special place that strives for excellence in every regard, and our program will be no different. I can't possibly thank Coach Krzyzewski and Duke University enough for preparing me for this day."

Collins will remain with the Blue Devils throughout the NCAA tournament. Duke plays Michigan State in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis on Friday.

A formal news conference introducing Collins will be announced at a later date.

Duke says it will promote special assistant Nate James to assistant coach to replace Collins. Krzyzewski called it a "seamless transition" for the program.

It will be the second stint as an assistant coach at Duke for James, who also held that position from 2008-11. His role shifted to special assistant when Jeff Capel was hired as an assistant before the 2011-12 season.

James played at Duke from 1996-2001 and was a two-time captain who led the Blue Devils to their third national championship as a senior.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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