Tracy Dildy returned to Chicago and his alma mater of UIC in 2007 because he believed he would be the next Flames coach whenever Jimmy Collins decided to retire.
Recently, Dildy began to hear otherwise. It’s why he accepted Chicago State’s heading coaching job last week even though he knew Collins may soon retire.
On Tuesday, Collins announced his retirement, and Dildy was confident he had made the right decision to leave UIC.
“The reason I was brought back to UIC was to be the next coach,” Dildy said. “That was guaranteed. That’s one of the reasons I gave up a great job at UAB. That was said to me by a couple people that I would be that guy. As it got closer to the possibility of coach leaving, that guarantee kind of changed. I couldn’t take that chance when I had another school that wanted me.
“I’m very excited about coaching Chicago State. That’s always been my dream to be a head coach. I have my dream come true.”
Collins said he had told Dildy he was considering retirement, but he did not have further discussions with Dildy about it.
“I don’t know what Tracy was thinking,” Collins said. “I can’t speak on it. If he thought he wasn’t going to get a shot, that didn’t come from me. I know Tracy at some point decided to take a chance and maybe he heard something I didn’t hear.”