Chris Collins out of Illinois St. search

Updated: April 30, 2012, 7:00 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke assistant Chris Collins says he's not pursuing the vacant coaching position at Illinois State.

Collins issued a statement through Duke on Monday saying he'll remain the Blue Devils' associate head coach.

Collins says he has "a great love and strong emotional ties to" Illinois State. His father Doug played for the Redbirds before beginning his NBA head coaching career.

Collins says he discussed the job with Illinois State athletic director Gary Friedman on Sunday. Collins says he wants to be a head coach, but "it was not the right fit for me and the university at this time."

Collins has spent 12 seasons on Mike Krzyzewski's staff at Duke. Illinois State is looking to replace Tim Jankovich, who left last week to join Larry Brown's staff at SMU.

Collins' father, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins, said earlier Monday his son had decided to not pursue Illinois State's head coaching vacancy because of Doug's strong ties to the university.

Illinois State's court is named after Collins and his jersey is retired there. He averaged 29.1 points in three years at Illinois State before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 1973 NBA draft.

"Chris was considering the Illinois State job," Collins said. "Gary Friedman reached out to him, and Chris said, 'Let me think about it.' "

However, Doug Collins said both sides "mutually agreed it would be too tough a situation for Chris."

"With my name on the court, my jersey up there and a statue out in front of the arena, it would be very difficult for Chris to be there," Doug Collins said after the 76ers' practice on Monday.

"If he didn't do well and they fired him, what would that do with the relationship I have with the university? What if he went in there and did well for two years and left, and they thought it was like a stepping stone somewhere else? I think they both mutually agreed as good of a fit as Chris might be there in a lot of ways, it would have been difficult for Chris to be his own man."

Chris, who starred at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Ill., played at Duke. Collins believed his son's opportunity as a college head coach would come soon, but he also wouldn't just jump at any opportunity.

"Chris is going to be a (darn) good coach," Collins said. "The thing is you can't take a bad job. You can't be in a hurry to take a bad job. You can't take a bad job and three years be out of there. Now what are you going to do? There's a short window for these coaches.

"Chris loves Duke and what he's doing. Coach K has been great to him, teaching him to grow as a coach and giving him all these responsibilities. My family is big on faith. The right job will come at the right time. God's timing is perfect."

Collins said Chris wasn't disappointed Illinois didn't consider him for its opening when Bruce Weber was fired. The Illini hired John Groce as Weber's replacement.

"I think Chris viewed it as a lot of different dynamics being very difficult," Collins said. "Illinois is a great basketball job. Illinois is a great, great job with its tradition. Chris is going to pick out a job that fits his profile, the kind of guys he wants to recruits, the kind of guys he wants to coach and more importantly where he can walk into a gym and be recognized.

"These search committees now they try to put guys in job that don't fit. Chris understands that."

Information from ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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