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Kentucky hires Chris Collins as new defensive backs coach

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Mark Stoops has found his man. Kentucky just announced that Chris Collins has been hired as the new defensive backs coach. Collins comes to Lexington from Georgia State, where he coached the safeties for the past four years and served as recruiting coordinator. He replaces Steve Clinkscale, who took a job at Michigan last month.

“Going through the hiring process for this job I talked to several candidates but each time I talked to Chris I came away more and more impressed with him,” Stoops said in a press release. “He brings great energy and enthusiasm to the staff on the field and as a recruiter. We are very excited to have him on board.”

“My family and I are extremely blessed and excited to be a part of the Kentucky football family,” Collins said. “On top of Kentucky being an elite level program known for developing talent, this interview process has shown me a tremendous amount about Coach Stoops, Coach (Brad) White and the rest of the staff. When they say family first, they really mean it. During this interview process my wife and I were having our first child. Coach Stoops readjusted his schedule to accommodate my time with my wife and son. That showed me everything that I needed to know about the men I would be working with.

“Coach Stoops’ knowledge is second to none when it comes to defensive backs. I’m excited to learn and work with him, Coach White and the rest of the staff to continue to elevate this defense.”

An assistant for the Panthers since 2017, Collins took on the role of recruiting coordinator in 2019 and in the following season signed a Georgia State class that had the highest average star rating in school history. Collins’ signees primarily come from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Since he arrived on campus, Georgia State is 2-1 in the postseason, most recently defeating Western Kentucky 39-21 in the LendingTree Bowl.

Collins made his Division I coaching debut in 2015 as a graduate assistant for Appalachian State. The following year he returned to his alma mater, Western Carolina, to coach linebackers, parlaying that to his gig in Atlanta. At Western Carolina, Collins was a four-year letter winner and two-year captain as a safety and outside linebacker from 2006-09. He recorded 303 tackles during his collegiate career, including 109 as a senior in 2009, when he earned second-team All-Southern Conference recognition. He finished his career with 19 tackles for loss (including 12.5 as a senior), nine forced fumbles (including a SoCon-best six as a junior) and five pass breakups. A native of High Point, North Carolina, Collins graduated from T.W. Andrews High School. He is married to the former Kiara Crutchfield of Greensboro, N.C. The couple has one son, Christopher Collins III.

Welcome aboard, Coach!

Chris Collins’ Coaching Career

Year Position School Bowl Games
2019-20 Assistant Safeties Coach / Recruiting Coordinator Georgia State Lending Tree Bowl (2020)
Arizona Bowl (2019)
2017-18 Assistant Safeties Coach Georgia State Cure Bowl (2017)
2016 Assistant Linebackers Coach Western Carolina
2015 Defensive Graduate Assistant Appalachian State Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
2013-14 Secondary / Special Teams Coordinator Catawba
2011-12 Defensive Assistant Western Carolina

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2023-01-30