Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier, who led Butler’s men’s basketball team to prominence as head coach, is serving his ninth year at the helm of the Butler University athletic department. Collier has focused the department’s efforts on the provision of exceptional student-athlete experiences, competitive excellence, serving as a source of pride and unity and fiscal sustainability.
Building on a culture of excellence, the athletic department embraces The Butler Way as its path to continued success. The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality; yet seeks constant improvement while putting the team above self.
At Butler, Collier oversees the school’s 19 NCAA Division I sports. He and his staff support 365+ student-athletes in their quest for achievement in the classroom, in athletic competition and in community service. Athletics provides unique educational opportunities to absorb the values of hard work, sacrifice, fair play, self respect, respect for others, teamwork and the quest for excellence.
Butler’s student-athletes have excelled academically. Since Collier arrived in 2006, the Bulldogs have been recognized with 18 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 165 academic all-conference members and 1,104 conference academic honor roll members. Additionally, Butler University ranked as one of the top schools in the nation when the NCAA released its list of Public Recognition Awards on Thursday, June 14, 2012. A total of 11 Butler teams were honored for achieving a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top 10 percent of their Division I peers.
Under Collier’s leadership, the athletics teams at Butler have earned 27 regular season and tournament championships from 2007 through 2012. BU’s women’s cross country, men’s cross country, volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s basketball, men’s tennis and women’s golf teams or individuals have participated in NCAA championship play.
Perhaps the most notable accomplishments by Butler athletics during Collier’s tenure came during the men’s basketball team’s runs to the NCAA Final Four in 2010 and 2011. The school’s NCAA Tournament success was transformative for Butler men’s basketball, Butler athletics and Butler University. Elevating to a whole new level, the men’s basketball team brought in more than $1.1 billion of media value to Butler, over the months surrounding the 2010 and 2011 Final Fours. During the 2010 Final Four in Indianapolis, one of the most rewarding media stories was the simple fact that Butler’s men’s basketball student-athletes attended classes on the day of the championship game. Butler wouldn’t have it any other way.
In May of 2012, Collier and President James Danko oversaw the school’s move to the Atlantic 10 Conference. The move not only brought higher levels of exposure and athletic competition, the change aligned Butler University with some of the nation’s premier public and private institutions. “The move to the A-10 is due to the tremendous support, leadership and vision of President Jim Danko. Butler will be realizing an opportunity to associate with more like-minded universities, expand its national reputation and footprint, and compete in one of the premier athletic conferences in the country,” Collier said. “Our student-athletes will also benefit from visiting the world’s leading financial and government centers as well as the birthplace of our nation.”
“It is a privilege to represent Butler University as a student-athlete, coach or support staffer. We are fortunate to enjoy the combination of academic excellence and athletic accomplishment with the support of the extraordinary students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends of Butler University,” said Collier. “Our Butler coaching and support staffs are so incredibly dedicated that it is inspiring to work with them. Each member of our athletics team is greatly valued and critical to our overall success.”
Collier’s vision for an exceptional student-athlete experience is evident when one looks at the improvement in Butler’s athletic facilities during recent years. Upgrades and/or expansion to the Davey Outdoor Track and Field, Butler Bowl, Bulldog Park (baseball), Butler Softball Field, Butler Tennis Courts, Butler Indoor Hitting Facility and Hinkle Fieldhouse have given BU’s student-athletes improved spaces in which to build their teams, train, practice and compete.
“Most of the facility improvements have occurred because of the generous support we receive from our donors to the Bulldog Club. Butler Athletics’ booster organization has tripled in donors members during the past six years and their contributions increased nearly five-fold). Our donors are incredibly passionate about their Bulldogs. We can’t thank them enough,” Collier said. “Corporate Partnerships have doubled and their support has more than tripled.” Ticket sales for the Bulldog athletic contests have increased 319 percent. Televised games have tripled and website hits to Butlersports.com exceeded 100 million in 2010 and 2011. This increased interest, pride, attendance and support have underpinned the experiences of Butler’s student-athletes and teams.
Collier’s loyalty to and belief in Butler began as a student, grew as an alum, increased as a coach and now has enlarged in his current role. Serving on the President’s Cabinet, Collier supports the University’s mission by assisting in the development and execution of its strategic direction. Teaming with multiple colleges and divisions of Butler, Athletics has collaborated on various initiatives to advance the university. From teaching an honors class on the history of Butler athletics, to collaborating with College of Education and College of Business projects, to working closely with the division of Advancement, Collier has worked to fully integrate Butler Athletics into the University.
Prior to his move to athletics administration in 2006, Collier was a college basketball coach at seven different institutions. Assistant coaching stints at Rose-Hulman, Seattle Central Community College, Idaho, Oregon and Stanford led to his first head coaching position at Butler in 1989. As Butler’s coach, Collier led the Bulldogs for 11 years and to six postseason campaigns. In 1997, Collier mentored the Bulldogs to an NCAA Tournament appearance, the school’s first in 35 years.
During his 11 seasons at BU, Collier had two players earn MCC Player of the Year honors. He had one player named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team and had one player earn a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Of the 37 players who completed their senior season under him, 36 earned their degree. Overall, he guided the Bulldogs to a 196-132 record, including a then-school-record five 20-win seasons. Prior to his arrival, Butler had just two 20-win seasons in 91 years of intercollegiate basketball. In his last four seasons at Butler, Collier guided the Bulldogs to a 90-39 (.698) record and four consecutive postseason tournament appearances. His 196 career wins are currently the second-highest total in Butler history. He was named MCC Coach of the Year in 1991, 1997, 1999 and 2000.
In 2000, Collier was named the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Nebraska. Taking over the Cornhuskers allowed him to reunite with Nebraska’s Athletic Director Bill Byrne, who worked with Collier during his days at Oregon. In Collier’s six years at Nebraska, the Huskers progressed from an 11-19 record to 19-14 and earned their second postseason NIT appearance in three years. Included in the 19 victories in 2005-06, were a pair of wins over nationally-ranked teams, giving the Huskers five upsets of "Top 25" teams in Collier's last three seasons.
During Collier's tenure in Lincoln, the Huskers saw an unprecedented rise in academic standing. Nebraska had a league-leading 15 first team academic All-Big 12 selections between 2003 and 2006, including two academic all-district performers in 2006. In addition, 17 of the 20 Huskers who completed their senior season under Collier earned their college diplomas.
Collier attended Miami Palmetto High School in Miami, Fla., and later received an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Butler in 1976 and a Master of Science degree from Indiana State University in 1977. He has been a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches for 36 years, and he was named to the NABC Board of Directors in 2002 and served through 2006. He and his wife, Annette, are the parents of Casey (married to McKenzie), a 2006 Nebraska graduate and a 2009 Nebraska Medical School graduate, Brady, a 2008 Nebraska graduate, and Clay, a 2011 Butler graduate.
COMMENTS ON THE HIRING OF BARRY COLLIER
"I congratulate Butler University on the successful recruitment of Barry Collier to succeed John Parry as athletic director. When I wrote to Barry after his appointment as head basketball coach in 1989, he reminded me that we had met during a visit, which I enjoyed in 1975 at his Butler fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, when I was Mayor of Indianapolis. He mentioned that we both had been fortunate to move on to bigger opportunities. I appreciated many visits with Coach Collier during his remarkably successful coaching career at Butler, and I look forward to many more opportunities to work with him during our annual fitness festivals each September at Butler." --Senator Richard G. Lugar
"Barry is a first class guy in every way. He was the first guy I tried to hire when I took the (head-coaching) job at Stanford. He's very organized and he can grab a project and get it done. He has great leadership ability, and his integrity is above reproach."--Mike Montgomery, Head Coach, University of California
"What you have in Barry Collier is a guy with incredible class and integrity. While I hate to see him leave the coaching profession, we need guys like him in administration. He's been very successful at a lot of different levels. This is a great deal for Butler and a great deal for all of us. He's very smart, and I think he gets it." --Tom Izzo, Head Coach, Michigan State University
"I couldn't be happier for Barry Collier and for Butler University. I said 12 years ago that I thought Barry would make an outstanding athletic director. When you look at what he stands for, his principles and integrity coincide with everything that Butler is about." --Thad Matta, Head Coach, Ohio State University
"Barry is a high integrity guy. His word can be believed. I have a very high regard for his character. He's very bright and a very good listener. He's interested in what others have to say, and he's very good at seeing a problem and arriving at a solution."--Jim Haney, Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches
"Barry is a highly-respected individual in the basketball community in Indiana and nationwide. He's currently serving on the Board of Directors of the NABC, and he's a person of sound judgement. The fact that he played the game and coached basketball at Butler is certainly a plus. He knows the university environment, he knows the city and he knows the constituents of the university. Butler is very fortunate to have him return as athletic director."--Tom Jernstedt, Executive Vice President, NCAA
"I can think of no finer representative of Butler excellence and the Butler way to do things right than Barry. He is well known, presents himself well and knows what he is doing. His ability to attract and mentor top talent has been proven and I believe would be a quality to make him a great success as A.D. He will continue to emphasize Butler values, not only within the Butler community, but in central Indiana and nationwide." --R. Mark Lawrance, Indiana Chamber of Commerce