Nashville native introduced as TSU’s new head basketball coach

Brian “Penny” Collins

A week after Dana Ford took a job at Missouri State, Tennessee State University has hired Illinois State assistant Brian “Penny” Collins as its men’s basketball coach.

The 34-year-old was formally introduced at a Monday news conference, where he called this his “dream job.” That’s because Collins is a Nashville native who worked on the Tigers’ staff as a graduate assistant in 2007-08 and a director of operations in 2009-12.

Collins has head coaching experience, working from 2012-15 at Columbia State University, a community college in Columbia, Tennessee.

Columbia State went a combined 54-11 in his final two seasons and reached the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament each of those years.

Collins, a former Belmont guard and team captain under Rick Byrd, was an assistant at East Tennessee State from 2015-17.

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