SALT LAKE CITY – Northwestern head coach Chris Collins is still enjoying his program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win, but he admitted in the minutes after the Wildcats outlasted Vanderbilt on Thursday night that he is already looking forward to his next job.
“I’ll obviously stick it out here as long as I can and do my best,” said Collins, who has been at Northwestern since the 2013-14 season. “But I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school that I’m about to be one of the hottest names in coaching and I’m going to get offers from some established programs that will pay way more than what Northwestern ever would. Let’s be honest. It’s hard not to sit here and imagine the success I could have away from a nerd school.”
Collins said he know from his years at Duke and now at Northwestern that a basketball team at a university “full of dweebs” can have success, but said there’s no reason to choose the toughest path.
“Could I stay here my whole career and have everyone tell me I’m a great leader of men and that I built a program from scratch to respectability?” the coach mused at his post-game press conference. “Sure. But it would be a hell of a lot more fun to be at a place like Kentucky and just roll out an NBA team every night. I didn’t fall in love with basketball because I thought I could help people get good GPAs. No one did. Let’s be real.”
No matter where he goes next, the Wildcats head coach says he told his current team he’ll never forget them.
“I plan to use you guys as an example in every speech I ever make to my actually good basketball teams,” he said. “I’ll say: ‘If those gawky nerds won an NCAA Tournament game, you actual athletes have no excuse.’ That’s something they can be proud of and hold onto their whole lives: motivating some great basketball players they never met.”
Also see … “Northwestern Sports Fan,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, expected to be the best new comedy of the season