AP source: NU interviews Duke’s Collins

Duke assistant Chris Collins has interviewed for the head coach opening at Northwestern, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person said Collins spoke with Northwestern about the job Monday. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Northwestern is not publicly discussing the hiring process.

Collins is a native of Northbrook – about 15 miles from the Northwestern campus in Evanston. He’s the son of Philadelphia 76ers coach and former Bulls coach Doug Collins.

The former Mr. Basketball in Illinois was a star guard for Duke from 1993-96 and played overseas before starting a coaching career that included stints with WNBA’s Detroit Shock and with Tommy Amaker’s staff at Seton Hall.

He joined Mike Krzyzew-ski’s staff in 2000 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2008.

Collins, who never has been a head coach, interviewed last year for the job at Illinois State – his father’s alma mater – before withdrawing, saying it wasn’t the right fit. The Redbirds ultimately hired Dan Muller from Vanderbilt’s staff.

Speaking over the weekend while the Blue Devils were playing in Philadelphia for the NCAA tournament, Krzyzew-ski said he feels he has three head coaches on his staff in Collins, associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski and Jeff Capel – the former coach at Oklahoma and Virginia Commonwealth.

“I could lose any of my guys at any time. I feel I have the best staff in America, pro or college,” Krzyzewski said. Collins “will be great – all three of those guys would be great, and all those guys that work with them, all the pro guys, will tell you the same thing.”

Northwestern – which never has appeared in the NCAA tournament – is searching for a replacement for Bill Carmody, who was fired this month after going 192-210 in 13 seasons. His teams made four straight National Invitation Tournament appearances from 2009 to 2012.