While UIC coach Jimmy Collins’ retirement announcement is only hours old, former UIC assistant coach Tracy Dildy said the school has been working on possible replacements for a while.
Dildy named Illinois assistant coaches Jerrance Howard and Jay Price, Minnesota assistant coach Vince Taylor and Wisconsin assistant coach Howard Moore as the four coaches who UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt was targeting as Collins’ successor.
“Those are the guys involved in the job and have been in conversations over the last 3-4 months,” said Dildy, who recently left Collins’ staff for Chicago State’s head coaching position.
Illinois coach Bruce Weber learned of Collins' announcement late Tuesday night. He called Collins a good man and wished him the best. He hadn't, though, heard of Howard or Price being candidates for the UIC position.
"I have not been contacted about either Jay or Jerrance," Weber said via text message. "Both are well deserving of such an opportunity and I would be excited to get either one involved in the job!"
Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent could also be a candidate, according to a source.
Collins said Tuesday he would like to help in that search and thought his current assistants, Bryant Lowe and Mark Miller, should also be considered.
“I would love to have a say,” Collins said. “I think we got a really good recruiting class coming in. Those kids deserve to have somebody come in that gets to know them and their abilities. Whoever they do hire, I know Jim [Schmidt] will do a national search.”