College - Illinois State
Doug Collins was named the 23rd head coach in franchise history on May 21, 2010. In 10 seasons as head coach for Chicago, Detroit, Washington and Philadelphia, Collins has compiled a mark of 408-359 (.532) with a playoff record of 16-27 (.372).
In his first season as head coach of the Sixers, Collins improved the team’s win total by 14 games over the previous season and finished second in voting for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award. The 14-game improvement marked the third-best from one season to the next in franchise history.
Last season, Collins led the team to a record of 35-31, marking the Sixers first winning season since going 43-39 in 2004-05. The Sixers defeated Chicago 4-2 in the First Round of the playoffs, becoming just the fifth #8 seed to knock off a #1 seed in NBA history. It also marked the first time Philly advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2003.
Collins has coached his team to the playoffs in seven of his 10 seasons, highlighted by a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals with Chicago in 1989. Following his coaching stint with the Wizards in 2002-03, the 61-year-old Collins served as an analyst for the NBA on TNT.
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).
In the season prior to Collins’ arrival, the Sixers went 9-73, posting the worst record in NBA history. 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 Chicago in 1988-89, the Bulls 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 ppg 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 in 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. Washington won just 25 games the first season after he left.
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, Allan Houston and Richard Hamilton.
Collins was just as successful in broadcasting as he was as a player and coach. He was 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 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.