Skip to main content Skip to footer

Jim  Collins
Jim Collins

Defensive Coordinator and Secondary

Alma Mater:
Elon, 1974

Jim Collins was promoted to defensive coordinator in April 2005 after serving as the Thundering Herd's defensive backs coach in 2004.

"Jim brings a ton of experience, including many bowl victories, to the table. His time in the NFL, coaching at the game's highest level, brings instant credibility," head coach Mark Snyder said. "He brings an incredible amount of knowledge and a track record of proven success to our staff."

Collins took over defensive coordinator duties in 2005 and inherited a defense that had to replace its entire front seven and returned only a handful of starters. Despite, the inexperience the Marshall defense led C-USA in total defense (allowing 340.27 ypg) and ranked 12th in the nation in pass defense allowing only 178 yards through the air per game.

Marshall's defensive backs recorded a strong year under Collins in 2004. Safety Curtis Keyes led the team in tackles and earned all-conference accolades, while Chris Royal finished the season with six interceptions, the second highest total in the nation. Marshall also led the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, allowing only 22.2 points per game.

Collins, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels, came to Marshall from the Washington Redskins, where he served as an assistant coach for outside linebackers and special teams assistant since January 2002.

Prior to his stint with the Redskins, Collins was an assistant coach at the University of Florida from 1990-2002. He served as the Gators recruiting coordinator and worked with linebackers, defensive ends, and tight ends during his tenure in Gainesville.

Collins has been a part of seven conference championship teams during his collegiate coaching career (Duke in 1989, Florida in 1991, 1993-96, 2000). In 1996, he also helped Florida to the NCAA Division 1-A National Championship. Overall, he has coached in 13 bowl games and helped develop several student-athletes that have gone on to careers in the National Football League.

Collins began his coaching career at Page High School in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C., in 1974. In 1980, he was named defensive coordinator at Lees-McRae Junior College before joining the staff at Appalachian State as defensive backs and outside linebackers coach (1981-82). He went on to join the Duke University coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 1983, and left for a brief stint as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Jacksonville State in 1984 only to return to Duke where he served as an assistant until moving to Florida in 1990.

Collins was a defensive back at Elon College from 1970-73, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education from the school in 1974. He earned a master's degree in education from North Carolina A&T in 1979. He and his wife, Geri, have a daughter, Jennifer, who is a graduate of the University of Florida.