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Just when every coach vacancy was filled ...

Good thing Chicago State finally found its new head coach. Another week and Tracy Dildy might not have left Illinois Chicago.

In a bit of bizarre timing, longtime Illinois Chicago coach Jimmy Collins announced Tuesday that he’ll retire effective Aug. 31. Collins spent 14 seasons on the Flames’ bench and is the school’s all-time wins leader (218).

“It is difficult to leave UIC and the great student-athletes who are returning,” Collins said in a statement. “After much introspection, I feel it is my time to enjoy retirement and have more time with my family.”

The school will now conduct a national search for its new coach, which raises a few questions:

  • Did Collins, 62, feel pressure to resign, or was this just something he’d been pondering since season’s end? The middle of July is an odd time to quit.
  • Did the school not see this coming? Surely Dildy, Collins’ associate head coach the last three seasons and by most accounts a good recruiter, would’ve been a suitable replacement.
  • Or did the school not have faith in Dildy?

At any rate, we’re back to one D-I coaching vacancy. This table was complete for a matter of days.

UPDATE: According to ESPNChicago, the school’s been talking to assistants Jerrance Howard and Jay Price for months. So yes, the school saw this coming, and no, it didn’t want Dildy.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.