Former head football coach Pat Collins is recognized as an inductee to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at a recent football game.
There has never been a more winning football coach at University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), formerly Northeast Louisiana University, than Coach Pat Collins. Not only does his 57 – 35 record put him at the top of the wins column, it also places him second in winning percentages at .620. Twice during his tenure at then-NLU, in 1983 and 1987, he led the NLU Indians to Southland Conference championships. He was named Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association both years. In 1987, his best year as head coach, he led the Indians to a 13-2 record and an NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship, edging out Marshall by a point, 43-42. That year, CBS Sports and Football News echoed the LSWA’s sentiment and named him National Coach of the Year. To date, the ’87 NLU Indians are the only football team from Louisiana or the Southland Conference to win the Division I-AA national title.
Of course, Pat Collins’ storied football coaching career didn’t start at NLU. The Shreveport native had previously served in the ‘60s as an assistant coach at Airline High School in Bossier City and in the ‘70s as a defensive assistant to Louisiana Tech Coach Maxie Lambright, also a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Since his time as coach at NLU, Collins has enjoyed successful runs as a football head coach and athletic director at the high school level at West Ouachita, Ouachita High and Longview (Texas) High. He is currently serving as a consultant and athletic fundraiser for Shreveport’s Calvary Baptist Academy.
Collins served briefly as an athletics consultant for ULM in 2013-2014. At that time, Coach Collins said of our community, “I love Monroe. It is my home, as I have lived here 30 years. The community is great.” According to The News-Star, while expressing interest in the open position of LHSAA Executive Director, he recently said, “We probably have the greatest football state in the country per capita.”
On June 27, Coach Pat Collins along with Kevin Faulk, Frank Brothers, Yvette Girouard, Otis Washington, Leonard Smith, Avery Johnson and Jake Delhomme, all members of the 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class, will be officially enshrined into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. ULM also honored Coach Collins for his election to the Hall of Fame during their November 15 game against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
We at Metro Leader would like to join the Monroe-West Monroe community in extending congratulations to Coach Collins on his well-deserved inclusion into the Hall of Fame.
By Justin Roberts