Allen Awarded Dr. James E. Collie Endowed Scholarship
Oct. 17, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State junior guard Bryant Allen has earned the Dr. James E. Collie Endowed Scholarship, as announced by head coach Dan Muller Wednesday. The scholarship memorializes Collie, widely known as "Gentleman Jim," who coached the Redbirds from 1958-70.
"I believe Gentleman Jim would be proud to be represented by Bryant Allen," Muller said. "He is about as positive with himself, his teammates and others around as anyone I have seen."
Allen averaged eight points per game in 24 appearances and tallied double-digit scoring efforts seven times last season. He poured in a career-best 29 points against Creighton (Jan. 13), on 11-for-17 shooting and 5-for-9 on threes. Allen finished the season with 51 points in 82 minutes of action against the Bluejays, or 17 points per game. Following his impressive first season as a Redbird, Allen was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Bench Team, as voted on by the league's newspaper beat writers.
"Bryant brings great energy and passion to our team and we all feed off that," Muller said. "We appreciate the contributions by the former players and coaches for this scholarship, and Bryant is certainly a well-deserved student-athlete."
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 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.
Allen and the Redbird men's and women's basketball teams will host HoopFest, Wednesday night at Redbird Arena. ISU's only exhibition game is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5 versus Quincy, with the season tipping off Monday, Nov. 12 at home against UC Santa Barbara. Tickets are available by calling (309) 438-8000.
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