Ben Collins (American football)

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Ben Collins was an American football player and coach. He served as head coach at University of Texas at El Paso from 1957 to 1961. Collins compiled an 18–29–1 record overall.

Collins was a star running back at West Texas State College (now West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas). In 1941, he finished second in the nation in scored points with 132, behind Bill Dudley (134) of the University of Virginia. In 1942, Collins was selected by the Detroit Lions as the 185th overall pick in the NFL draft.[1]

Collins worked at Texas Western College, now University of Texas El Paso, from 1946 to 1961 and served as the school's athletic director and head football coach during his final five years.[2] Collins is known for hiring renowned college basketball coach Don Haskins in 1961.[3] In an article for the El Paso Times, Haskins is quoted saying, "[Collins] was behind me all the way."[4]

Collins, 93, and his wife, Mary Gene, 86, were killed November 20, 2014, when they were struck by a pickup truck while crossing a busy street in El Paso.