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BREAKING: Chris Collins, Northwestern agree to three-year contract extension

Collins remains at the helm until 2028.

Indiana v Northwestern Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Back up the Brinks truck.

Northwestern men’s basketball head coach Chris Collins and the University have agreed to a three-year contract extension, Northwestern Athletic Director Dr. Derek Gragg announced Monday. The extension keeps Collins in Evanston until 2028, making him the longest-tenured coach since Arthur Lonborg held the position from 1927-1950.

“It has been an honor to be the Head Coach at Northwestern University for the last 10 years. The Northwestern community has become our family’s home, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this journey,” Collins said in a press release from the University. “I am thankful to President Schill and Dr. Gragg for showing the confidence in me to continue to lead Northwestern Basketball. It’s a responsibility that I love and embrace. To have the opportunity to be a part of accomplishing so many firsts in the history of the basketball program during my tenure has been special, and I can’t wait to get to work to pursue more amazing moments in the future.”

The extension comes on the heels of the ‘Cats’ second NCAA Tournament berth in program history. The other came in 2017 — both under the direction of Collins. Northwestern’s 12 Big Ten wins this season were the most in team history, and its 22 overall wins were the second-most ever, behind only the 2016-2017 team. Collins was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for his performance this season

After an underwhelming performance year ago, Gragg sent a letter out to supporters saying that that he had “tasked Coach Collins with making necessary changes to build towards success in the 2022-23 campaign.” As part of such moves, Collins hired assistant coach Chris Lowery to help overhaul NU’s defense. With the help of the Lowery, NU became one of the premier defensive teams in the nation, ranked 22nd by KenPom.

With extension in hand, Collins has attacked this offseason. Northwestern has already landed three transfers: Ryan Langborg, Justin Mullins and Blake Preston. While the Wildcats wait to hear if star guards Boo Buie and Chase Audige will return to Evanston, Collins is creating a roster to hopefully get the ‘Cats back to the big dance.