Jimmy Collins

Inducted in 1998

  • Born in Syracuse. Attended Madison Junior High, Vocational High School and Corcoran High School
  • 1965-1967: Plays basketball in high school and was named All-City first team three times.
  • Receives basketball scholarship to New Mexico State
  • 1967-1970: Plays basketball for New Mexico State
  • 1969-1970: Names to Look Magazine All-American team, US Regional Writers All-American team, MVP of NCAA Midwest Regional. Breaks school’s single game scoring mark with 41 points vs. the Air Force. Later bests this record to 42 points.
  • 1970: New Mexico State rises to number three in national rankings. Jim finishes senior year with 1733 points and a 24.4 points-per-game average
  • 1970: Signs contract with Chicago Bulls of the NBA
  • 1970-1972: Scores 284 points in 76 games with the Bulls
  • 1972: Switches to the ABA’s Carolina Cougars
  • In 1976, Collins returned to Chicago to start a trucking business. A year later, he became a hearing officer for the Cook County Probation Department, a position he held for six years. While serving as a probation officer, Collins also worked as a volunteer head coach at St. Thomas School in Chicago, where he is currently on the Board of Trustees, from 1980-1983. He also coached in the pro-college league of Chicago and was named Coach of the Year in 1981. Then in 1983, he was reunited with Henson at Illinois University.
  • 1982-1995: Coaches Illinois University as an assistant basketball coach.
  • 1996: Takes the head coach position at Illinois at Chicago University.
  • UIC Pavilion's first-ever crowd of over 8,000 fans in Collins' first game as head coach in 1996,
  • Coached the Flames' first-ever NCAA Tournament bid in 1998, to the school's first-ever league tournament title in 2002.
  • 1998: Collins garnered numerous awards and honors. In addition to being selected as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I "Coach of the Year" and the Referee's Association of Chicago "Coach of the Year," Collins was also honored by the Ed Kelly Sports Program, Inc.,
  • 1998: Receives the Giant Award, which recognizes an individual not only for their professional accomplishments, but also for the example they have set for others following in their footsteps.
  • 1998 Collins was inducted into the Urban Sports Hall of Fame of Syracuse and was also selected as a Father of the Year by Chicago's Father's Day Council.
  • Collins, who is co-chairman of the Chicago Special Olympics, was the first inductee into the Hall of Fame at Corcoran High School in Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Collins was inducted, along with the rest of his 1970 Aggie Final Four squad, into the New Mexico State Athletics Hall of Fame.

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