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Willie Collins photo
Willie Collins photo
Willie Collins
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Coach Willie Collins is a superb coach who guided football, track, volleyball, and powerlifting teams at Provine, Forest Hill, and Brandon. Coach Collins was an All-SWAC guard for the Jackson State football team in 1975 and achieved his college degree in 1978. He began his 36-year coaching career in 1978 at Brandon High where he was an assistant football coach and assistant track coach who helped create the school’s physical education program. He spent one year at Forest Hill High where he was assistant football coach, head volleyball coach, and strength coach before arriving at Provine High in 1982. Eventually becoming head football coach, he formed a football powerhouse at Provine from 1992 to 2014. He was the first African American coach to play for the Class 5A State Championship. He guided the Rams to state championship games and Class 5A runner-up finishes in 1994 and 1999. His teams claimed 7 district titles during his tenure and, overall, his football squads compiled a record of 167 wins and 98 losses with 6 seasons that featured double digit wins. He was named coach of the week five times by the Jackson Clarion Ledger who also selected him as Metro Coach of the Year in 1994. He had over 10 players drafted or signed as free agents in the NFL. He is one of the winningest coaches in Jackson Public School history. He served as head coach in the 1999 Bernard Blackwell All-Star Football Classic and he coached in two other all-star games. In addition to football, he coached boys & girls track for 10 years, volleyball for 4 years, and powerlifting for 5 years. Willie was named to the Jackson State All-Century football team in 2011. Willie was known for coaching football games with a trademark white towel, a superstition carried over from his days at Forest Hill and Jackson State.