Chris Collins has agreed to stay in Evanston through the 2024-2025 season, which means he will be at the helm for at least the next eight seasons. Along with his contract extension, Collins is also set to see a pay raise.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported that his salary was doubled and that Collins will now be making upwards of $3 million per year. Greenstein also noted that Collins will now be one of the top 15 paid coaches in all of college basketball.
Collins has impressed in his first four seasons in Evanston. Not only in the wins column, but with his staff and on the recruiting trail. His first class, comprised of Vic Law, Scottie Lindsey, Bryant McIntosh and Gavin Skelly set the tone for his expectations. Law is the highest-rated recruit in Northwestern history, while Bryant McIntosh has also thrived since enrolling at Northwestern.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Northwestern Athletic Department held a press conference at the Under Armor Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Jim Phillips spoke on Collins and Northwestern head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, who also received a contract extension.
At the press conference, Collins talked about his long-term commitment.
“I came to Northwestern to be the Northwestern coach for a long time,” Collins said. “I want to be here. I love it. I’m excited to be the coach for a long long time.”
Many questions were raised this season about Northwestern as a stepping stone for Collins before taking a bigger job. He reaffirmed that it isn’t and spoke highly of the school. Collins has shown in four seasons that he is a talented coach and can coach NCAA Tournament teams. This contract extension shows his commitment to Northwestern and the long-term future of the program.
“For me, it’s always been about being here. I’ve never viewed this as being a destination,” Collins said. “It’s home. It’s my home. I love Northwestern. I love everything about it. I love the people, I love the young men I get to coach, the staff we have on a daily basis.”
Collins also talked about this being the beginning of Northwestern basketball. He lead the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth this past season and plans on continuing to grow the program.
“This has always been about being here, and that’s not going to change,” Collins said. “This is where I’m going to be and I couldn’t be more excited about that. I can’t wait to see what we can build.”
Jim Phillips, the Director of Athletics and Recreation, approached Collins before the season about extending his contract following the completion of the season. After the season ended and the long-term deal was discussed, Collins knew he wanted to sign it.
“It wasn’t hard for me to say yes because it’s whats in my heart,” said Collins.
With this long-term contract, Collins can look ahead to the future in recruiting and the goals of the program. He wants to continue to strive to win a Big Ten Championship and be a perennial NCAA Tournament team. Collins wants to continue to grown the Northwestern basketball culture and keep the program on the national map.
Chris Collins came to Evanston four years ago with the hopes of making an impact and and finding a school to call home for many years. Over the past four years he’s made an impact and the idea of Northwestern being his home long-term is a possible reality.
On Tuesday, the once long-term idea became his future. Chris Collins is the face of Northwestern basketball and will be for years to come.