Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sixers announce Collins hiring

The Sixers formally announced their agreement with Doug Collins to be the team's next head coach with a news release issued a short time ago.

Sixers announce Collins hiring

The Sixers formally announced their agreement with Doug Collins to be the team's next head coach with a news release issued a short time ago.

The team did not disclose terms of the contract, but an NBA source told the Daily News that it was a 4-year deal.

"We are excited to hire a head coach with the level of experience, knowledge and passion for the game that Doug Collins has," president and GM Ed Stefanski said in the statement. "He has been around basketball his entire life, has experienced success at every step throughout his career and we are confident in his ability to lead our team."

"Doug Collins is a terrific motivator, teacher, and manager," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "We believe he is the right coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and the one who will lead us back onto the right track."

"The past week has provided us with a series of events that we believe will be a turning point for the Philadelphia 76ers," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. "Doug Collins is a coach that can make an immediate impact. He has all the attributes that we are looking for in a new head coach and we are happy to welcome him back into the Sixers family."

Here is some background on Collins, provided in the release:

Since his last coaching stint with the Washington Wizards in 2002-03, the 58-year-old Collins has served as an analyst for the NBA on TNT. In eight seasons of coaching, Collins compiled a regular-season record of 332-287 (.536) and reached the playoffs five times, highlighted by a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals with Chicago in 1989.

Following a standout career at Illinois State, Collins was selected by the Sixers with the first overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft. He spent all eight of his seasons with Philadelphia, averaging 17.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.25 steals in 415 games played while shooting 50.1% from the floor and 83.3% from the line. For his career, the four-time All-Star had more steals (518) than turnovers (485).

By Collins' fourth season with the team in 1976-77, Philadelphia advanced to the NBA Finals. During that postseason, Collins averaged 22.4 points per game, second only on the team to Julius Erving's 27.3 ppg.

After injuries forced him to retire during the 1980-81 season, Collins took an assistant coaching job at The University of Pennsylvania under Bob Weinhauer and followed Weinhauer to Arizona State. Collins' NBA coaching career began when he was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls on May 23, 1986.

Collins took the Bulls to the playoffs in his first season and guided them to 50 wins in 1987-88, marking the franchise's first 50-win season since 1973-74. In his third and final season with the Bulls in 1988-89, Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

In his first season as head coach of the Pistons in 1995-96, Collins inherited a Detroit team that had won 28 games the previous season and engineered an 18-game improvement along with a playoff appearance. Detroit gave up just 92.9 points per game in 1995-96, nearly 13 points fewer than it allowed the season before Collins arrived.

Detroit won 54 games the following season (1996-97) with Collins at the helm, which is tied for the fifth-highest win total for a single season in franchise history. In the first three and a half seasons following Collins' departure, the team had a winning percentage of .474.

Collins last coaching stint came with Washington during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons where he was reunited with Michael Jordan, who Collins coached during his time with the Bulls. In 2001-02, Collins once again improved his team's win total by 18 games from the previous season. The Wizards posted a winning percentage of .451 in two years under Collins after having a winning percentage of .308 the three seasons prior. The season after he left, Washington won just 25 games.

In addition to Jordan, Collins helped with the development of several other future All-Stars who were in the early stages of their careers, including Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Grant Hill, Theo Ratliff and Allan Houston, as well as Lindsey Hunter and Richard Hamilton.

Collins has been just as successful in broadcasting as he was as a player and coach. He is widely regarded as one of the best analysts in basketball, as evidenced by his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Media Wing in September, 2009. Additionally, he has earned four Emmy® Award nominations and two Cable ACE Awards during his time with NBC and TNT.

Collins and his wife, Kathy, have two children. Their son Chris is an associate head coach at Duke University and their daughter Kelly lives in the Philadelphia area.

About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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