UMES coaches and administrators takes on challenge for a cause
Bobby Collins was named the head coach of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball team on April 8, 2014.
It was the last four years that distinguished Collins as a premier head coach, where he went 79-35 from 2010-14 after Winston-Salem State moved back to Division II. Those seasons saw him win atleast 10 games in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) each year and his teams made two NCAA Division II Regional First Round appearances during the span.
Collins spent the previous eight seasons as the head coach at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Southern Pines, N.C., native accepted the job in 2006 and led the Rams to a 115-110 overall record.
He was at the helm when WSSU made the transition into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) before the 2007 season and guided the Rams to 32 wins during that time, including a pair of 12 win seasons. In his first season, he was saddled with the duty of coaching the Rams as a Division I independent school and led the team to a 4-20 record.
His best season with the Rams was during the 2012-13 season as the team went 21-7 overall with a 13-3 record in the CIAA. That year, WSSU was ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation and earned a second-seed in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Previous to his job with Winston-Salem State, Collins was a member of the Hampton University men's basketball program for 11 seasons. Collins' first year in 1995 was also the same season that HU made the transition into the Division I ranks.
He concluded his career with Hampton with a 65-57 mark and 45-27 record in the MEAC. In his last year with Hampton (2005-06), Collins led HU to its third MEAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates fell to Monmouth in the opening-round game to conclude the year with a 16 win season.
Collins led Hampton to 30 wins over the previous two seasons, including a 17-13 mark in 2006. That season he was named MEAC Coach of the Year after leading the squad to a 13-5 record in MEAC play.
Collins accepted his first-ever head coaching position prior to the 2002-03 season at Hampton. That year he guided the Pirates to within six points of their third consecutive MEAC Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. He led HU to a 19-11 record that year to become the winningest first-year head coach in the history of the program.
He was also assistant coach at Hampton from 1995-2002 and was on the bench for the Pirates' 2001 NCAA Tournament First-Round upset of second-seeded Iowa State. The victory was the fourth 15-seed victory over a 2-seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
A 1987 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Collins was a four-year starter on the men's basketball team where he was named to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) All-Freshman Team and Honorable Mention All-OVC as a senior. Following his graduation from EKU, Collins played professional basketball in Finland, where he earned MVP honors overseas in the Helsinki Classic Tournament in 1991.
The son of two non-denominational ministers, Collins is the youngest of 10 siblings. He graduated from Pinecrest High School and guided his men's basketball squad to a 38-9 record over his junior and senior seasons. In 1984, he earned All-State honors was named Conference Player of the Year.