Holton native and Emporia State University women’s basketball head coach Jory Collins, shown in the accompanying photo, is trading his ESU black and gold for the crimson and blue of the University of Kansas, it has been reported.
After eight seasons of leading the Lady Hornets to winning records, Collins has joined the women’s basketball program at KU as an assistant coach to Brandon Schneider. Collins and Schneider previously worked together as coaches at ESU, guiding the Lady Hornets to a NCAA Division II National Championship in 2010.
Collins, son of the late Donnie Collins of Holton and Cindy Collins of Holton, is a 1997 graduate of Holton High School, where he excelled in football and basketball for the Wildcats. He received his bachelor of science degree in elementary education in 2002 and a master’s degree in educational administration in 2006, both from ESU.
“I couldn’t be happier that Jory is joining our coaching staff,” Schneider said. “He obviously has first-hand experience with our philosophy and approach, but I also believe he will bring a fresh perspective to our team. He is a tremendous teacher of the game and an outstanding recruiter. He will make a positive impact in all phases of our program.”
Collins took over as ESU women’s basketball head coach in 2010 after three seasons as an assistant coach under Schneider, who at that time left for Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. In his time as head coach, Collins has racked up an overall coaching record of 199-58 with the Lady Hornets.
His accomplishments with the Lady Hornets include seven 20-win campaigns, five MIAA Tournament Championships, seven conference title games, six NCAA Tournaments and six trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 including a berth in the 2015 NCAA Division II Final Four.
The Lady Hornets rolled to a fifth-straight MIAA Tournament title in 2017 and a sixth-straight trip to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16. Collins is 34-9 in postseason play, with a 20-3 record in the MIAA Tournament and 14-6 mark in the NCAA Tournament. Collins is 38-20 against teams in the WBCA Top 25 and the Lady Hornets went 17-10 against top 10 teams in his eight years as ESU’s head coach.
Collins was a member of the Lady Hornet coaching staff for 10 seasons before becoming head coach and Emporia State advanced to the NCAA tournament in nine of those seasons. Starting in 2000-01, he was involved in almost every aspect of the Lady Hornet program. He served as a practice player while a student/volunteer assistant from 2000-03.
He returned to the program as a graduate assistant in 2004 after a year as a fifth grade teacher at Lowther South Intermediate School in Emporia. As a graduate assistant, he was responsible for the Lady Hornets strength and conditioning program, travel, film exchange and coordinating the fall and spring individual workouts.
He returned to the Lady Hornet bench for the start of the 2006-07 season as a volunteer coach and was promoted to full assistant in the spring of 2007. In addition to his recruiting efforts, Collins has been in charge of different aspects of play on the court focusing on post play in 2009-10, scouting as well as strength and conditioning as a full assistant.
“I’m excited to be able to join Kansas women’s basketball,” Collins said. “To be able to coach the game at the greatest basketball school in the country, in the toughest league in the country, is an opportunity you jump at as a competitor.”
Collins and his wife, Casey, have two sons, Jett and Jude.