Jay Collins earned All-State honors during late-90s career


FARMINGTON – Farmington High School looked to its past for its next head boys basketball coach, hiring Jay Collins as its new leader, Farmington Municipal Schools athletic director Frank Whalen said today.

“It’s the only high school job I’d take. I hope I can restore the program to what it was in the 1990s,” Collins said. “We were ranked No. 1 a lot times when I was a player.”

Although he won All-State honors as a player, the one thing that eluded Collins during his playing days was a state title. Now that he is returning home to his alma mater, he said he craves the chance to bring a blue trophy back to Farmington as a coach.

“I want to go make amends for that,” Collins said.

Collins played basketball at FHS from 1996-1999 and went on to play college basketball at Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona, from 1999-2001. He then played his final two collegiate seasons at Southern Utah University from 2001-2003.

“He was a fierce competitor in high school when he played,” Whalen said. “He has a great reputation (among his peers). He’s got a good grasp of the whole game. I feel like he has a grasp of the fundamentals.”

Collins has spent the past 12 seasons as an assistant coach with several different programs, including the last six years as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Idaho State University.

On offense, Collins said he looks to push the ball down the floor and set up easy shots and transition layups. He also said he hopes that approach will help get multiple players involved on the scoring end every night.

“We beat (opponents) down the floor, they don’t have a chance to set up their defense,” Collins said. "You’re getting up a shot quicker, (and) that’ll put pressure on the defense to get back quicker. I would hope to get two or three uncontested layups a game."

On defense, Collins said he will implement the full-court press, adding that zone presses will help Farmington get more quick steals. He wants to play fast similar to former coach Marv Sanders did when Collins donned the white and kelley green colors. This time, however, Collins said he wants to press the entire year instead of the just during the first couple of months.

Collins' goal is simple: play fast, front to back.

“I want to be the aggressor on both ends. It’s a very tough style of play to go against,” Collins said.

Collins replaces Paul Corley, who stepped down on March 14 after six years at FHS.

Although the 2018-2019 season is still a long way off, Collins is ready to bring excitement back to Scorpion Arena.

“It’s great coming back. Hopefully, I can help the kids reach their potential,” Collins said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.