Grassfield Hires Coaching Vet Collins

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Grassfield High School was looking to make a 'splash'
hire to lead its basketball program. On
Tuesday, they announced the hiring of Tony
Collins, a man with a winning background and a wealth of college coaching

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The 56-year-old Collins has coached at the collegiate
level for 30 seasons, both Men's and Women's Basketball, with a track record of
winning that goes back to his High School coaching days when he led
class=SpellE>LaPlata's Girls Basketball team to a 1987 Maryland State
Championship. In Grassfield, he sees
great potential.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"What I really like about it that drew me to it is that
it's a young school, only about seven years old," Collins told "I feel like I can
really get over there and make an imprint in that program with the knowledge I
know I'll be bringing to the table."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Prior to accepting the job at the Chesapeake school,
Collins coached as an assistant just a couple of years ago at nearby Phoebus
High School in Hampton. He also served
as an assistant coach at The Apprentice School not long before.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A 1979 graduate of Virginia State University, Collins
might be known best for his time at his alma mater, guiding the Division II
program to 20 wins in 2007-08. That was
their most victories in a season since 1991.
Though his three-year term there didn't end on the greatest of terms, he
made his mark by earning CIAA Coach of the Year honors in 2007.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Collins had a few stops before coaching at VSU.
style=> In fact, his longest stop was for 16 years at
Austin Peay State University, spending 15 of them as
an assistant for the Men's program, one with the Women's team.
style=> He was an assistant for Miami of Ohio's Women's
Basketball for two seasons. His other
stops were coaching Men's Basketball as an assistant at Friends University in
Kansas and at Fayetteville State.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>At Grassfield, Collins replaces
normal'>Andy Schwerzler, who stepped down after
seven seasons at the helm. In those
seven years, the Grizzlies went 47-101 without any trips to the regional
playoffs, something Collins would like to change.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The thing I've been telling people is I'm going to
treat it like it's a college program and coach the kids in that type of
atmosphere, too. That'll be a benefit
for the ones that are fortunate enough to go on to a higher level, and for the
ones that aren't, that won't make a difference.
I still want to coach like it's a college type of team and think that
will help them in the long run," Collins commented.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We want to teach the kids the fundamentals of the
game. If they play hard, learn the
fundamentals and learn the system that I want to put in, I think we'll be
successful. How successful I can't
say. I don't know about State Champs,
but I think we'll have a successful program over there at Grassfield in the
years to come."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Last season's Grassfield team was arguably their most
competitive yet, posting a record of 10-14 overall and for the first time ever
winning a postseason game when they beat Western Branch, 53-50 in the
quarterfinals of the Monitor-Merrimac Conference 2 Tournament.
style=> Most of that nucleus returns.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I don't really know my talent over there yet, but I
want to play a system where we apply a lot of pressure on the defensive end and
push the ball up the floor on the offensive end.
style=> That doesn't mean you're always going to
score, but I want to push the ball up the floor, putting pressure on the
opponent on the offensive end and the defensive end," Collins added.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"An up-tempo style is what we want to play.
style=> Regardless of my size, I still believe the
game when it all gets down to it, no matter what level you play or coach at, is
about playing inside-out. That's my
philosophy and I don't care if I've got a 6-3 center."


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
every Saturday at 10AM on
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>,
plus watch him on the
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

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