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Northwestern has found its man. The Wildcats announced the hiring of Chris Collins as the 24th head men's basketball coach in school history Wednesday evening. CSN's David Kaplan originally reported the two sides were close to reaching an agreement Tuesday morning.
Collins, an Illinois native and former Illinois Mr. Basketball, played his college hoops at Duke and has served as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski's staff since 2000. He also spent two years as an assistant under Tommy Amaker at Seton Hall.
The 38-year-old Collins will remain with the Blue Devils until the conclusion of their season. Northwestern will hold a news conference at a later date.
"We're thrilled to welcome Chris, his wife, Kim, and their children, Ryan and Kate, home to Chicago and into the Northwestern family," Athletic Director Jim Phillips said in a press release. "He has a tremendous pedigree as a basketball coach and will be an outstanding leader for Chicago's Big Ten Team, and mentor for our student-athletes. After a thorough and comprehensive search process, there is no doubt he is a perfect fit for this institution and our men's basketball program."
Collins thanked Krzyzewski for the opportunity and is excited about returning home to coach the Wildcats.
"I'm so grateful to President Schapiro, Chairman Osborn and Dr. Phillips for the opportunity to lead the men's basketball program at one of the premier universities in the world, to compete in the Big Ten Conference, and to do so in my hometown," Collins said. "Northwestern University is a special place that strives for excellence in every regard, and our program will be no different. I can't possibly thank Coach Krzyzewski and Duke University enough for preparing me for this day."
Collins takes over for Bill Carmody, who was fired March 16 and will look to try to guide Northwestern to their first NCAA tournament appearance in school history.