Brian James is in his first season as an assistant coach at Northwestern on Chris Collins' staff.
James served as Collins' coach during his high school career at Glenbrook North where he helped Collins gain McDonald's All-America status as well as the title of Illinois' Mr. Basketball.
"We're very excited to add Brian James to our staff," Collins said. "He has been a big part of my family going back to my high school days when he was my coach. Brian has been a great mentor for me. A lot of the things that I have carried with me throughout my playing and coaching career are things that I've learned from him. I look forward to having him on staff to lend his expertise. His experience coaching great players in the NBA for so many years will be a huge asset to our program as we move forward."
"I am both thrilled and humbled to join the staff here at Northwestern," James said. "To be able to come back to a great city like Chicago where I lived and coached for 10 years and work for such a prestigious university in the best college basketball conference is just awesome.
"This is somewhat full circle for me personally. Chris Collins and I have been extremely close since he starred for me at Glenbrook North at the age of 14. Now 25 years later, I get to coach with one of the most competitive big-game participants I've ever been associated with, regardless of the level. I'm elated that Chris would ask me to rejoin him as our staff strives to make Northwestern Basketball a household name."
James comes to Northwestern after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers alongside head coach Doug Collins, Chris Collins' father.
The Taylorville, Ill., native has 14 years of NBA coaching experience. Prior to joining the Sixers, James served as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks for three seasons from 2005-06 through 2007-08. In addition to the Bucks, James had held assistant coaching positions in the NBA with Washington (2001-03), Toronto (1998-2001) and Detroit (1995-98). His stints with the Wizards and Pistons also came as a member of Doug Collins' staff. He also served as an NBA analyst for ESPN.com and spent two years as an advance scout for the Seattle Supersonics.
His 18 years of high school coaching experience in the state of Illinois were split between four different high schools. James compiled a varsity career coaching record of 196-79 (.713) and helped his teams reach the state tournament four times.
A graduate of Illinois State University, James holds a masters degree from Northeastern Illinois University.
James has three children: Christopher, Dayna and Brady.