Gary Collins
Gary Collins
Title: Head Coach


Following the 2012 baseball season, Gary Collins assumed the duties of SIUE’s first solely dedicated director of development for Intercollegiate Athletics.  Collins retired from the University in February 2014.

Collins left his coaching post with an overall SIUE record of 1,028-766-7.
Collins successfully led SIUE baseball into the Division I era, guiding the Cougars to 28 wins in 2011 and 27 in 2012. The Cougars would have qualified for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament each of the last two years if the program was eligible. The 2012 Cougars were the first to play a full OVC schedule. Despite injuries, and major changes to Collins' pitching staff his team finished sixth in the league.

His 2011 season proved to be a memorable one. With a 5-1 win over Eastern Kentucky in the second game of a doubleheader May 20, 2011, Collins earned his 1,000th career win, accomplishing what just 55 other NCAA Division I coaches had done previously. The Cougar alumnus has a comfortable grip on the No. 1 spot on SIUE's all-time wins list. In fact, no other coach in any other sport has more wins at SIUE than Collins does.

After finishing with 14 wins in 2010, Collins led his 2011 Cougars to a turnaround of 14 wins, finishing at 28-24, including a 19-4 mark at Simmons Baseball Complex. It marked the first winning season for the Cougars since 2007. SIUE also enjoyed great success against its future conference opponents, amassing a record of 15-4 against Ohio Valley Conference opponents. The Cougars were 10-0 against OVC teams at home during the season.

During their time at NCAA Division II, Collins led the Cougars to 14 Regional appearances, and five College World Series appearances. He led SIUE into its next phase as a Division I program by starting a youth movement. Three of the top five and six of the top 10 hitters in 2010 were underclassmen.

The 2010 team won 14 games and finished 9-4 at SimmonsCopper Complex. Three of the home wins came against Ohio Valley Conference opponents. The Cougars lost one of the best players in recent history with the graduation of outfielder Adam Eggemeyer. Eggemeyer, who led the 2010 team in nine offensive categories, ended his SIUE career with a .347 batting average, tied for 25th all-time. His 166 career hits was 18th all-time when he finished his career.

In 2009, SIUE won 15 games and said goodbye to another one of its star players, Josh Street. In his final game as a Cougar, Street hit a pair of home runs to finish with 15 for the year, tying the single-season school record. He finished his career with a batting average of .397 and was named first team All-Independent.
In SIUE's final season in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 2008, Collins led his team to the GLVC tournament for the 11th time in 13 seasons. The Cougars won two GLVC titles while members of the conference.

Five members of the 2008 squad were selected to All-GLVC teams, with Ben Bartley leading the group as a first team selection at third base. Street (2B), Cory Bunner (SS), Eggemeyer (OF), Daniel Thomson (OF) all were second team selections. Street and Bartley were also selected to the Rawlings/ABCA All-North Central Region second team.

The 2007 season featured Collins' 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. His team posted the best record in the GLVC at 26-10 during the regular season. Collins has coached five teams to the NCAA-II College World Series with a fourth-place finish in 1983, seventh place in 1985, and fifth place in 1991, 1997 and 2001.His 2006 team featured the top pitching staff in the nation, posting a national-record 21 shutouts and finishing with a 40-19-1 record. It was the fourth time SIUE has finished with 40 or more wins under Collins.

Collins' teams are no stranger to setting school and national records. His 2001 team also was the first to have two players (Mark Bugger and Chad Opel) record 100 or more hits in a season. Bugger, who was later elected to the GLVC Hall of Fame, completed his SIUE career with 356 hits, making him the Division II all-time hits leader at the time.

The 1991 team, which set the school marks for wins with 43, included 10 players who would go on to have 100 or more career hits.

Collins also reveres his 1987 season. That team broke the 40-win barrier for the first time and featured several players who would move on to the professional ranks. Tony Duenas, a former assistant coach under Collins, spent three seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization. Pete Delkus, who signed with the Minnesota Twins, worked all the way up to the AAA level. John Groennert, who is the only Cougar ever to have recorded 11 victories in one season, signed with the Cincinnati Reds. Pitcher Dean Schulmeister spent some time in the Cubs organization. Catcher Daren DePew signed with the Boise Hawks. The final player to sign was P.J. Riley with the Houston Astros. Both Duenas and Delkus were named to the SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame.

Collins had a professional baseball career of his own, playing in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. In 1969, he became SIUE's first player in any sport to sign a professional contract. While with the Cardinals, he played in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sarasota, Fla., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Little Rock, Ark.

Collins began his coaching career as an SIUE assistant coach to Roy E. Lee, then moved to Lewis and Clark Community College and later returned to lead SIUE baseball, becoming the first alumnus to return to become a head coach.

Collins earned a bachelor's in physical education in 1970 and a master's in counselor education in 1973, both from SIUE. He has one son, Ryan.


Career Coaching Record

Year Record    
1979 15-26    
1980 26-27    
1981 33-27    
1982 34-21    
1983 35-15    
1984 22-23    
1985 36-15-1    
1986 39-21    
1987 40-15-1    
1988 28-20    
1989 31-18    
1990 36-14    
1991 43-17    
1992 36-20-1    
1993 19-18    
1994 23-27-2    
1995 31-17-1 GLVC Place
1996 29-22 17-11 3rd
1997 37-19 17-9 3rd
1998 38-15 16-4 1st
1999 35-19 17-8 3rd
2000 33-23 19-8 T2nd
2001 41-27 19-8 T2nd
2002 30-24 16-12 4th
2003 24-26 17-13 2nd
2004 20-32 17-22 7th
2005 28-27 19-21 7th
2006 40-19-1 30-14-1 4th
2007 37-17 26-10 3rd
2008 25-26 18-14 2nd
2009 15-39    
2010 14-38    
2011 28-24  OVC


2012 27-28 13-14


Total 1,028-766-7  


Career Playing Statistics

Year       Avg   GP-GS     AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB   SO   SB-ATT
1968....  .425   12-0      40   13   17    4    1    2   12    2    6    1-1

1969....  .357    0-0      56    5   20    3    0    2   10    4   12    1-2

TOTAL...  .385   12-0      96   18   37    7    1    4   22    6   18    2-3