Joining the Bearkat staff in May 2013, Mike Collins begins his third season as defensive coordinator for the Sam Houston football program.
In his first two seasons, the Kat defense has played an important role as the program has as Sam Houston has rolled to 22 victories, a Southland Conference championship and two FCS playoff appearances.
Fourteen Bearkat defensive players have earn All-Southland Conference under Collins’ leadership. Linebacker P. J. Hall was the Southland Conference “Freshman of the Year” in 2014 and was the top defensive player in last fall’s balloting for the Jerry Rice Award which is presented to the FCS “Freshman of the Year. Sam Houston stood among the top team teams in the Southland in scoring defense both seasons as well.
Collins was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at McNeese State before he joined the Bearkat staff in May, 2013.
He served two stints with McNeese State. As an assistant to Bobby Keasler from 1991 to 1997, he coached linebackers as McNeese won four Southland Conference titles and played in the NCAA Division I national championship game in 1997.
Rejoining the Cowboy staff in 2008, he served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach. The 2009 Cowboys were Southland co-champions and league runner-up in 2010.
While at McNeese, Collins coached six All-America selections as well as the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year three times.
Collins got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Louisiana-Monroe in 1983-84. From there, he served as an assistant coach at Ouachita Parish High School before joining the staff at McNeese State in 1991.
He left McNeese after the 1997 season to work at his alma mater, Louisiana-Monroe, where he coached for five years. Collins first served as linebacker coach in 1998 and then as the defensive coordinator for three years. He took over as interim head coach at Louisiana-Monroe three games into the 2002 season before being named the teams’ permanent head coach on Nov. 20 of that year.
In 2003, Collins spent a season as an intern on the national championship staff of Nick Saban at LSU. He then joined the Tiger staff full-time in March of 2004 as LSU’s linebackers coach. In 2005 he moved to Northwestern State as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. In 2007 he served as linebacker coach at Kilgore High School before returning for his second stint in Lake Charles with the Cowboys in 2008.
Collins is a 1983 graduate of Louisiana-Monroe, where he lettered for four years as a center in football. He earned his master’s degree from Louisiana-Monroe in 1984. Collins earned football, basketball and tennis letters at Ruston High School. He was an all-district linebacker and guard in football.
He is married to the former Terri Brinson and the couple has two children, John Michael and Matt. His father, Pat Collins, coached Louisiana-Monroe to a national title.
Coach Collins will be hosting #txhsfbchat Wednesday June 10, 2015 and will be talking defense and answering all of your questions. You can follow Coach Collins on Twitter @CoachJMCollins.