NCAA Basketball

Tennessee State hires Illinois St assistant Collins as coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee State has hired Illinois State assistant Brian "Penny" Collins as its men's basketball coach.

The 34-year-old Collins was formally introduced at a Monday news conference. Collins replaces Dana Ford, who left for Missouri State after going 57-65 in four seasons.

This marks a return to Tennessee State for Collins, who worked on the Tigers' staff as a graduate assistant in 2007-08 and a director of operations in 2009-12.

"It means the world to me to be the Head Coach at TSU," Collins said in a university release. "Once I decided to get into the business, my eyes were always set on this job. To have the opportunity to not only unite an institution, but also a city where I grew up in, is priceless. This is truly a dream come true that I will not take for granted."

Collins has head coaching experience, working from 2012-15 at Columbia State, a community college in Columbia, Tennessee. Columbia State went a combined 54-11 in his final two seasons and reached the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament each of those years.

Collins, a former Belmont guard and team captain, was an assistant at East Tennessee State from 2015-17.

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Updated March 26, 2018

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