Ben Collins (American football)

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Ben Collins
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born c. 1921
Died November 20, 2014 (aged 93)
El Paso, Texas
Playing career
1940–1941 West Texas State
Position(s) Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1946–1956 Texas Western (assistant)
1957–1961 Texas Western
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1959–1961 Texas Western
Head coaching record
Overall 18–29–1

Ben Collins (c. 1921 – November 20, 2014) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Texas Western College—now the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)—from 1957 to 1961, compiling a record of 18–29–1.

Collins was a star halfback 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 Virginia. Collins was selected by the Detroit Lions as the 185th overall pick in the 1942 NFL draft.[1]

Collins worked at Texas Western College 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.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Texas Western Miners (Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1957–1961)
1957 Texas Western 6–3 3–2 T–3rd
1958 Texas Western 2–7 1–4 T–5th
1959 Texas Western 3–7 2–3 5th
1960 Texas Western 4–5–1 2–3 4th
1961 Texas Western 3–7 1–3 4th
Texas Western: 18–29–1 9–15
Total: 18–29–1