NASHVILLE --- Brian "Penny" Collins was named the Head Coach of the Tennessee State men's basketball program on Monday, March 26. Hear what TSU basketball alumni are saying about Collins.
"Penny was like a big brother to me while I was at TSU. In 2008, Penny convinced the TSU basketball coaches to come watch me play in the Nashville Pro Am. They offered me a scholarship the next day as I was walking to football practice. If my son is good enough to play college basketball, he will play for Penny."
- Gresham Jordan, 2008-09
"I played with Brian at Ewing Park Middle School and AAU. I played against Brian at Charles Davis Camp and twice a year in high school during District play. I've followed his coaching career since he was a grad assistant at TSU. As a teammate, opponent and coach, he has always demonstrated high basketball IQ, relentless intensity and personal integrity. This (hire) has me extremely excited!"
-Roshaun Bowens, 2001-05
"I think it’s great for the city of Nashville and for TSU. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Coach Penny and know he is a premier coach. I’m sure he will pick up where Coach Ford left off and continue improving the men’s basketball program."
- Jordan Cyphers, 2011-13
"His energy speaks for itself. He believes in the program and that can be contagious."
- Jamie Roberts, 1997-2001
"I'm excited to see my Alma Mater make a hire that the city is behind. I've known Coach Collins since middle school and his basketball mind was always one of the best. Coaching with Collins at TSU and Columbia State allowed me to see just how great of a basketball mind he was. I know Coach Collins will do great things for Big Blue Country and will have TSU basketball back to a top tier program in the OVC."
-Brandon Lockridge, 2000-04
"TSU couldn't have made a better decision on Coach Collins. Not only because you're bringing back a homegrown success, but also because I believe Coach Collins has what it takes to lead the program to the level it deserves to be."
-Garrett Richardson, 2000-04
"I think it's dope that they brought Penny home. He's not only an outstanding coach, but he's played at a high level so he knows what it takes to compete with the best. He's young so he can relate to his players and where they are in life. He's a family man and a mentor. He's home grown so he understands what TSU was, is and should be. I fully support this hire and wish Penny nothing but success. I truly hope we give him ALL the resources he needs to take us back to the Tourney."
- Darnai Thomas, 2000-02
"I feel like it's a great hire for TSU and the city of Nashville. With Coach Collins' Nashville roots and winning background, we should be able to get those big Nashville recruits that don't think highly of staying in the city to play basketball. Now they have a reason to attend TSU because they have someone they know that comes from the area and wants to win and put TSU back on the map."
-Stephen Evans, 2007-09
"I’m always for a man of color being elevated and given an opportunity. I think with the experience he’s gained over the years and the strategies learned, he will be fine. Excited to see what he will implement this upcoming season to lead the BIG BLUE!!"
-Kevin Samuel, 1996-01
"Brian ‘Penny’ Collins has the charisma, history, work ethic, faith and the passion necessary to be the leader to cultivate this program and community."
-Wil Peters, 2008-12
"I think it's a great hire for the university and the city of Nashville. As a Big Blue Tiger, I feel the program is in great hands. I know he will hire a great staff with strong ties to the middle Tennessee area."
-Josh Cooperwood, 2001-03
"Simply put, he wants to win and the amount of passion he has won’t allow him to lose especially in Nashville at TSU.”
- Tahjere McCall, 2015-17
"Sometimes you meet people, and you can immediately feel their spirit. Well, Penny was that type of person. The guy that you feel genuinely cares. I don't know Penny very well, but I do remember thinking, he must come from a great village of support. I wish him nothing but the best. Congrats brother."
- Wayne Arnold, 2004-06
"I think he is going to do well. I feel he’s going to build on top of what Coach Ford has done and keep elevating."
- Tashan Frederick, 2009-13