NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State men’s basketball announces an addition to the 2019-20 staff with Ricky R. Collins, the Tigers’ new Senior Advisor to the Head Coach.
Collins, the father of head coach Brian “Penny” Collins, has stamped his name in Tennessee basketball history as he is a member of the Metro Nashville Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and will be inducted into Cumberland University’s Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Most recently, Collins assisted his son advance the Columbia State Chargers to back-to-back NJCAA National Tournaments – the Elite Eight in 2014 and Sweet 16 in 2015.
"I feel like I'm extremely lucky to add a person of my father's caliber to the staff," said head coach Collins. "He comes in as a hall of fame, well decorated coach that can impart wisdom to our players and staff. We worked together at Columbia State and brought two national tournament appearances to the school; I can only hope to create that same magic for Tennessee State. He understands the culture, has pride in our institution and understands the history after witnessing some of the greats of the 60's and 70's. I'm excited to have him and even more proud to be his son."
The Nashville native is a three-time coach of the year, selected Mid-state and District Coach of the Year in 1997 and repeated while adding Regional Coach of the Year in 1998.
In his tenure as a head coach, Collins guided Pearl-Cohn to two state final fours, three sub-state games and Memphis Central to another sub-state matchup. Over his 34 years in high school coaching, he served as the head coach for Peabody High School, Memphis Technical High School, Memphis Central with his final twenty years spent in Metro Nashville with Pearl-Cohn, Antioch and Whites Creek High School.
Collins, who played basketball at Nashville Pearl High School, earned a scholarship to Middle Tennessee to play on the university's first men’s basketball team, winning a regular season title before becoming conference championships in 1975. Later, the OVC Champion transferred to Cumberland where he was voted MVP after leading the team to the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association State Championship. He completed his college career at UT Martin.
Collins graduated from University of Tennessee at Martin in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene in 1990. Collins and his wife Andrea, are the parents of two children, Ashley and Brian.