Butler AD, former hoops coach Collier to retire

INDIANAPOLIS — Butler athletic director and former men’s basketball coach Barry Collier will retire at the end of April, the school said Wednesday.

The 69-year-old Collier took over as AD of his alma mater in August 2006 and presided over the Bulldogs’ national runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011. He built the program based on the model he learned from late Hall of Fame basketball coach Tony Hinkle, the innovator of the orange basketball and a pillar of Bulldogs sports for nearly a half century.

“After more than 50 years in collegiate athletics, 31 as a member of the Butler family, and, after much thought and prayer, I have decided to retire, effective April 30, 2024,” he said in a message to the university community. He said he planned on spending more time with his family and friends.

Before moving into administration, Collier spent three decades coaching basketball — the last 17 as a head coach at Butler, helping to resuscitate the school’s flagship program,. He later coached at Nebraska.

Collier finished with a career mark of 285-223 and was 196-132 with Butler. He led the Bulldogs to three NCAA tournament appearances and an NIT appearance during his final four seasons at the school.

He also served as an assistant coach at Rose-Hulman in Indiana, Seattle Central Community College, Idaho, Oregon and Stanford before taking over as Bulldogs head coach in 1989-90.

“When I first stepped onto Butler’s campus in the fall of 1974, I immediately felt at home,” Collier wrote. “I loved my time in a Bulldog uniform and competing in Hinkle Fieldhouse. While my coaching career took me around the country for years, my heart was never too far from Indianapolis. In 1989, the opportunity to lead the Butler Bulldog men’s basketball program was the fruition of a dream, and my eleven years on the bench were memorable. To be able to return to Butler in 2006 to lead the Department of Athletics has been the icing on the cake.”

As athletic director, Collier hired Brad Stevens, now the Boston Celtics president of basketball operations; Chris Holtmann, the current Ohio State coach, and brought Thad Matta, one of his former players, back to the Bulldogs last season for his second stint as head coach.

Butler president James Danko said the university would spend the remaining months of Collier’s tenure honoring his legacy to the school. Danko also said Collier would serve as part of the transitional team for his successor.

“Throughout his time at Butler as a student-athlete, coach, administrator, and leader, Barry has personified our core values of dedication, spirit, and excellence,” Danko said.

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