Zeisloft Receives Dr. James E. Collie Scholarship
Nick Zeisloft

Nick Zeisloft

Aug 19, 2013

Current Endowments 2013 Honorees

NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State redshirt sophomore guard Nick Zeisloft is the recipient of the 2013-14 Dr. James E. Collie Endowed Scholarship, as announced by head coach Dan Muller Monday. The scholarship memorializes Collie, widely known as "Gentleman Jim," who coached the Redbirds from 1958-70.

"I am very honored to receive this scholarship," Zeisloft said. "Whenever you receive an honor like this, you realize that you're putting in the correct effort in the right areas. This scholarship provides me with extra motivation to keep working hard in school, on the court and in all aspects of life."

As a redshirt freshman last season, Zeisloft played in 25 games, with one start. He averaged 4.5 points and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc. The LaGrange, Ill., native scored a career-high 11 points (4-for-6), including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, in a victory against Delaware State (Nov. 18), and he grabbed a career-high four rebounds, with nine points and one assist in a win over Southern Illinois (Feb. 2).

Zeisloft has also excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.74 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) in finance. He is a three-time AFNI Honor Roll member, while earning a perfect 4.0 GPA during two out of his first four semesters. Now, as one of the most-experienced members of the 2013-14 team, Zeisloft is poised to lead by example this season.

"Nick Zeisloft represents everything that I want our program to stand for," Muller said. "He is hard working, a great student, a team player and a gentleman. Nick is the perfect recipient for Gentleman Jim's scholarship, and we appreciate all of those that have sponsored this scholarship."

The Collie scholarship was established after the longtime Redbird head coach passed away in 2006. Collie still ranks No. 2 in Illinois State men's basketball history with 209 coaching victories.

One of Collie's former assistant coaches, Dale Cruise, along with two former players, Gene Jontry and Bob Rush, were instrumental in the process of establishing the scholarship and raising the funds. The outpouring of support is a tribute to the late Redbird basketball coach, as the scholarship reached the $20,000 level to become endowed.

Collie arrived at Illinois State in 1957, after coaching stops at Friends University in Wichita, Kan., and McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill. He inherited a program that had seldom finished a season above .500 since World War II ended, but his high-speed offense generated a quick turnaround. In just his second season (1958-59), Collie led the Redbirds to a then-school-record 24 wins, an NAIA District Championship and recognition as the Illinois Coach of the Year.

As victories mounted, fan support increased, and the Redbirds moved from McCormick Gym to Horton Field House in the mid-1960s. Collie's coaching success reached new heights, as the 1966-67 team finished fourth in the NCAA College Division (now Division II) Tournament. His 1967-68 team went 25-3, ranked No. 3 in the nation, but was upset early in the NCAA Tournament. Collie was inducted into the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976.

The Dr. James E. Collie Endowed Scholarship is one of 24 endowed scholarships available to Illinois State student-athletes that are funded by private donors. For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, please call the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund office at (309) 438-3803 or click here.

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