Emporia State University named former Brandon Schneider assistant Jory Collins the sixth women’s basketball head coach at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
ESU Athletic Director Kent Weiser talked about the events leading up to the eventual hiring of Collins at the presser.
“For the last seven days, I’ve had daily conversations with a man who’s played a major role in the success of our program, both on the court and in the classroom,” Weiser said.“We talked about not only his qualifications for the job, but about his vision for the future…I am confident that the future of the program is in talented and capable hands, and I’m excited to work with him as he makes his mark on our exceptional women’s basketball program.”
Weiser also talked of the importance of hiring the right person for the job, given Emporia State’s special circumstance.
“One week ago, we learned there would be a change in leadership of Emporia State women’s basketball,” Weiser said.“Whenever such a change occurs, regardless of the sport, it’s important to give careful consideration to the personal and professional qualities needed for someone to assume the responsibilities of head coach.When a program happens to be the reigning National Champions, the consideration is of special importance.”
Collins’ was introduced to a full crowd who showed their appreciation with sizeable applause.
“It is an absolute honor to be named the head women’s basketball coach at Emporia State University,” Collins said.“It’s a privilege to be able to head a program that has the national prominence that we do.The support that the community provides Emporia State makes this one of the elite places in the country to coach and play women’s basketball.That’s why we’re able to attract some of the top student-athletes in the country.”
Collins, a 2002 ESUgraduate, was the prime candidate for the job based on his track record with the program.
Although the administration believed he was the right man for the job, there were a few concerns.
“It was obviously an issue that I don’t have head coaching experience,” Collins said.“I think I make up for that (in that) one of my biggest strengths is that when I started in this program, I was doing laundry as a student assistant.Every year I’ve worked up from that, to a graduate assistant to a full time assistant.I know exactly what it takes at each of those levels for this program to run smoothly.”
Current and former Lady Hornets were pleased with the hiring.According to former point guard Cassondra Boston, the Collins hiring made sense.
“I think it’s a great fit for both him and the team,” Boston said.“Jory’s obviously been with this program for a really long time.He has a great work ethic and I think that work ethic is going to transfer over to everyone on the team.”
Collins looks to join the ranks of five previous Emporia State women’s basketball head coaches with records over .500, most notably Schneider, who left ESU with an impressive 306-72 (.810) record.