Chris Collins will return as Northwestern's men's basketball coach next season, but athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg said he "share[s] in the disappointment" felt by the Wildcats fanbase.
Amid speculation about Collins' job status following another season without an NCAA tournament appearance, Gragg announced Collins would be back while making it clear that improvement was required.
"Coach Collins and I met today to discuss the high expectations we have for our men's basketball program, and the path forward for it," Gragg said in a statement. "At the conclusion of a challenging season, I share in the disappointment felt by our staff and avid fans.
"As our Wildcats enter the offseason, we are committed to evaluating all aspects of the program on and off the court to ensure we are supporting this team with the foundation necessary to compete and win in the nation's best college basketball conference. I have tasked Coach Collins with making necessary changes to build towards success in the 2022-23 campaign. I am extremely grateful to all our supporters for their dedication and, most importantly, to our student-athletes for always representing our University with pride and passion."
Collins has been at Northwestern for nine seasons, leading the Wildcats to the program's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2017. But they've finished below .500 all five seasons since the tourney trip, including this season's 15-16 campaign.
Northwestern has finished above .500 in Big Ten play just once under Collins. Overall, he's 133-150 in nine seasons.
Looking toward next season, only one starter from this year's group is a senior, so most of the team should return. Northwestern is also bringing in four-star center Luke Hunger, currently the Wildcats' lone commitment in the 2022 class.