Collie, former Illinois State coach, dies at 84

Updated: May 3, 2006, 8:14 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAL, Ill. -- James E. Collie Sr., whose fast-breaking teams in the late 1950s and 1960s opened the door of Division I athletics at Illinois State, has died. He was 84.

Collie, who had suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than 30 years, died Monday, family members said.

Collie, a native of Kentucky, arrived at Illinois State in 1957, and led the program to a quick turnaround. In his second season, Collie led the Redbirds to a school-record 24 wins.

Collie eclipsed that mark with a 25-3 record in 1967-68, but he surprised the school two years later with his sudden resignation, which was later revealed to have been because of his illness.

Collie's overall record was 329-222, including 209-139 at Illinois State.

Collie is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruby. They had five children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press