Northwestern hires Duke assistant Chris Collins as new basketball coach

Duke Blue Devils assistant coach Chris Collins (middle) reacts after the Blue Devils won on a last second shot by guard Austin Rivers (not pictured). The Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels 85-84 at the Dean E. Smith Center. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Duke Blue Devils assistant coach Chris Collins (middle) reacts after the Blue Devils won on a last second shot by guard Austin Rivers (not pictured). The Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels 85-84 at the Dean E. Smith Center. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

In a huge victory for the downtrodden Northwestern basketball program, the Wildcats have hired longtime Duke assistant Chris Collins to take over for the ousted Bill Carmody in Evanston.

Carmody had been at the helm of the program for 13 seasons, but failed to lead the ‘Cats to the NCAA Tournament even once. In fact, Northwestern is the only major conference program to have never — ever — earned an invite to go Dancing.

Collins has been with Duke since 2000, and in that time has experienced far more success that Carmody did. He developed into Coach K’s right hand man, earning the title of associate head coach in 2008, according to SB Nation.

However, the hire is seen as a win for more reasons than Collins’ ability to potentially lead a renaissance in the Chicago suburbs: He grew up there.

While his father, Doug, was coaching the Chicago Bulls, Chris earned the title of Mr. Illinois for Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, another ‘burb just north of Evanston.

Winning is not a foregone conclusion, but the Northwestern athletic department got the guy they wanted.

Now the question becomes, will they put the resources behind him to be successful?

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