“I’m blessed to be the winner of the 2015 Ben Jobe Award,” Collins said. “This is an honor, I have to thank God, my coaching staff, my team, and the UMES family for believing and trusting in me.”
Collins was already piling up the hardware, having been named the 2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Coach of the Year.
He was also named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, presented annually to the top mid-major coach in the nation. Collins led UMES to the best season in 41 years, the 1973-74 season when UMES amassed 27 wins and made a second round appearance in the National Invitational Tournament This season he guided the Hawks to an 18-15 record, third-place in the league with an 11-5 mark, up from 13th the previous season, and an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Post Season Tournament. It was the first NCAA post-season appearance for UMES since that 73-74 campaign and the first of any kind in over 30 years.
The Hawks had more wins this season than the last three combined and posted a sold non-conference record as well with a 3-1 mark against the Atlantic-10. They were one of the top three teams in the nation in road wins.
The Jobe award was created in 2010 and is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I basketball and voted on by a 30-person award committee consisting of five current DI head coaches, five retired head coaches, 10 athletic directors and/or conference administrators, five NBA scouts and/or administrators and five collegeinsider.com staff members. Coach Ben Jobe is the chairman of the awards committee.
Sean Woods, who is the current head coach at Morehead State, was the last HBCU coach to win the award in 2012 as head coach at from Mississippi Valley State.
Collins was one of 16 finalists for the 2015 award that included fellow MEAC coaches Robert Jones of Norfolk State and LeVelle Moton of North Carolina Central and Texas Southern head coach Mike Davis.
The award is named after longtime Southern head head coach Ben Jobe. He won 524 games in 31 seasons on the sidelines, including capturing five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC title and two NAIA crowns.