David "Aki" Collins is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Thundering Herd, after serving as an assistant coach at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Collins, whose full name is David Akiele Collins, comes to Marshall after three seasons as an assistant coach at Howard University where he served under head coach Frankie Allen. During his stint at Howard, Collins helped Allen turn the school's basketball program around. Two preseason MEAC Player of the Year candidates, Aki Thomas in 2002 and Kyle Williams in 2003, came to Howard with Collins from Colorado. He also helped recruit the MEAC Player of the Year in 2003, Ronnie Williamson. Prior to their arrival, the Bison had won only three games in the two previous seasons. Howard posted a record of 41-48 in Collins' tenure.
"Aki's ability to communicate with today's student athlete, coupled with his experience on the floor, gives us an assistant coach that can do it all," head coach Ron Jirsa said.
Collins, 34, spent three seasons as an assistant at the University of Colorado prior to his stint at Howard, one as a volunteer and two as the restricted-earnings coach. His responsibilities at Colorado included overseeing the team's managers, coordinating film exchange and participating in on-campus recruiting. Also in Boulder, one of his players was Jaquay Walls, a 2nd round Indiana Pacers selection in 2000.
At Marshall, Collins plays a key role in recruiting, scouting and player development.
Collins, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, began his collegiate career at Morehouse College before transferring to Clark Atlanta University where he graduated with a degree in mass media arts in 1997. He was also a standout prep player at LaSalle Academy in New York and helped lead his team to a 26-1 record and New York City championships during both his sophomore and junior seasons. LaSalle was ranked among the nation's preseason Top 20 during his senior campaign.
Collins was recently married to the former Ina Taylor.