Doug Collins attends introduction of son Chris Collins as Northwestern coach

New Wildcats coach Chris Collins shares an embrace with his father. "I had to be here," Doug Collins said.
New Wildcats coach Chris Collins shares an embrace with his father. "I had to be here," Doug Collins said. (         AP)
Posted: April 04, 2013

EVANSTON, Ill. - Even when Chris Collins was a ball boy at long-gone Chicago Stadium, wiping up the sweat of Michael Jordan, his father, who was the Bulls coach at the time, sensed that coaching was in his future. That belief became a reality on Tuesday.

"I know that sounds crazy, but I've always felt Chris had that about him," 76ers coach Doug Collins said.

With the elder Collins watching in the front row with his arm draped around his granddaughter Kate, Chris Collins was introduced as the new men's basketball coach at Northwestern, a program seeking its first NCAA tournament bid. He comes to Northwestern after 13 seasons on the staff at Duke, under Mike Krzyzewski.

Doug Collins gave his team the day off even though the Sixers are playing Wednesday night at Charlotte. "I had to be here and support him and let him know how proud I am of him," he said.

Collins thinks his son has learned quite a bit from the good times and bad that have marked his own career, including this disappointing campaign with the Sixers.

"We had tremendous expectations," Collins said. "We made a trade and it didn't work out . . . and we've taken a step backwards where unless something crazy happens we are not going to make the playoffs. But how I handled this year myself with my family and my team [makes him] understand things are not always going to work out the way you want them to be, especially in sports."

Said Chris Collins, 38: "The main advice I got from my dad is to go in there and be myself and work hard and show off your personality and create your own legacy."

Collins was asked if he could ever picture his father being on his staff. He responded with a touch of levity: "He's a head coach right now in the NBA, so it would be quite a pay cut to be my assistant."

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