NORMAL, Ill. -- James E. Collie Sr., whose fast-breaking
teams in the late 1950s and 1960s opened the door of Division I
athletics at Illinois State, has died. He was 84.
Collie, who had suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than
30 years, died Monday, family members said.
Collie, a native of Kentucky, arrived at Illinois State in 1957,
and led the program to a quick turnaround. In his second season,
Collie led the Redbirds to a school-record 24 wins.
Collie eclipsed that mark with a 25-3 record in 1967-68, but he
surprised the school two years later with his sudden resignation,
which was later revealed to have been because of his illness.
Collie's overall record was 329-222, including 209-139 at
Collie is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruby. They had five
children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.