Courtesy: SC State Athletics
ORANGEBURG, SC—South Carolina State head men’s basketball coach Murray Garvin has announced the hiring of veteran coach Bobby Collins to the Bulldog coaching staff.
Collins comes to South Carolina State after spending the past four years as the head coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland.
“We are super blessed to be able to add a coach of Bobby Collins‘ stature and pedigree to our basketball program here at South Carolina State. Just a few years ago before arriving here, I worked for him as a part of his staff at Winston Salem State University,” said Garvin.
“There we were able to capture a CIAA regular season championship and a NCAA Division II National Tournament at-large bid,” continued Garvin. “We are talking about a coach that has -led his teams to MEAC & CIAA championships and was a part the staff at Hampton University that upset Iowa State in the NCAA tournament.”
“I am extremely excited to be a part of Coach Garvin’s staff and the South Carolina State family,” said Collins. “To be able to join Coach Garvin and his staff and to know what they have assembled as a team is truly impressive. I look to add some insight and experience to a program that is on the brink of returning back to a championship level.”
During his stint at Maryland Eastern Shore, Collins, in his first season, led the Hawks to their best record at 18-15 in 41 years of the men’s basketball program. The winning mark was the first above -.500 record for an Eastern Shore team since the 1993-94 season, while the third-place finish in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was the best since that same year. The incredible turnaround year also saw widespread recognition of the accomplishments in Princess Anne with Collins winning MEAC Coach of the Year, as well as freshman Ryan Andino earning MEAC Rookie of the Year honors. Michael Myers also earned numerous awards, including Riley Wallace Player of the Year, while Collins was named 2015 Ben Jobe Coach of the Year.
Prior to Maryland Eastern Shore, Collins spent the eight seasons as the head coach at Winston-Salem?State University in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Southern Pines, N.C., native was at the helm when WSSU made the transition into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) before the 2007 season. He guided the Rams to 32 wins during that time, including a pair of 12-win seasons. In his first season, he was saddled with the duty of coaching the Rams as a Division I independent school and led the team to a 4-20 record.
It was the 2010-14 seasons that distinguished Collins as a premier head coach, where he went 79-35 after Winston-Salem State moved back to Division II. Those seasons saw him win at least 10 games in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) each year and his teams made three appearances in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament?during the span, including a CIAA?Southern Division Championship in 2010-12 and Tournament title in 2011-12.
His best season with the Rams was during the 2012-13 season as the team went 21-7 overall, with a 13-3 record in the CIAA. That year, WSSU was ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation and earned a second-seed in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Previous to his job with Winston-Salem State, Collins had coaching stints at Hampton University for 11 seasons, where he helped lead the Pirates to three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships.
A 1991 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Collins was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team where he was named to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) All-Freshman Team and reaped Honorable Mention All-OVC as a senior. Following his graduation from EKU, Collins played professional basketball in Finland, where he earned MVP honors overseas in the Helsinki Classic Tournament in 1991.