Chris Collins gets multiyear extension at Northwestern


Chris Collins will be staying at Northwestern for the "foreseeable future," as the head basketball coach told the Tribune's Teddy Greenstein that he's received a multiyear contract extension from the school.

The team announced the extension Monday morning on Twitter.

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Collins didn't tell Greenstein how much or how long the extension is worth, nor did the school immediately release that information, but he said his compensation is comparable to that of other Big Ten coaches.

“I was never worried about it," Collins told Greenstein. "I want to be here for the long haul and build a program.”

Collins will enter his third season as the head coach of the Wildcats this fall after going a combined 29-36 in his first two seasons in Evanston.

When he was hired in 2013, reported that Collins' contract was worth $10 million over seven seasons.

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Though the wins haven't exactly come in bunches and Northwestern still remains without an NCAA tournament berth in program history, fans and observers have given Collins positive reviews when it comes to what he's done and what he's doing with the program. In his first season, he put together a strong stretch that saw the Cats win five of seven conference games including three on the road at Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This past season, the Cats were the victims of a litany of incredibly close defeats, losing five straight conference games by an average of 3.4 points. Northwestern then won five of six toward the end of the season including two games over tournament-bound teams Iowa and Indiana.

Collins has brought in a highly regarded recruiting class a season ago that includes a pair of potential stars in Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law. McIntosh was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and Law showed flashes of brilliance toward season's end. This year's recruiting class is equally impressive, made up of four-star recruit Aaron Falzon and three-star prospects Jordan Ash and Derek Pardon.

That talent, combined with holdovers Tre Demps and Alex Olah, could prime Northwestern for one of its better seasons in recent memory.

The extension is important for Northwestern, too, as Collins' name comes up in conversations in coaching searches around the country not just for his work at Northwestern but also thanks to his long tenure as an assistant at Duke. Keeping Collins in Evanston is a good thing for the Cats.

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