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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Bryan Collins, long-time Long Island football coach, passes away at 58

A headshot of Stony Brook defensive coordinator Bryan Collins. The former LIU football head coach passed away at 58 on Saturday morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF STONY BROOK ATHLETICS

Bryan Collins, who was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Stony Brook football team for the upcoming season, died of a “cardiac event” on Saturday morning at 58, according to a press release from Stony Brook Athletics.

Collins served as the Seawolves’ defensive line coach for the previous two seasons after joining the program in 2021. Prior to Stony Brook, he was the head coach at C.W. Post — rebranded to Long Island University (LIU) Post in 2012 — for 23 seasons.

Collins is LIU’s all-time winningest coach, earning 162 wins and leading the program to six NCAA Division II tournament appearances and eight Northeast 10 Conference championships. He earned Northeast 10 Conference Coach of the Year honors seven times. Along with his head coaching job, Collins held the position of director of athletics at LIU from 2006 to 2017.

Collins also played linebacker for the St. John’s Red Storm as a college athlete. He was a recipient of the Dr. Peter Vitulli Award, which is given to the St. John’s student-athlete who displays the most sportsmanship. Collins graduated from St. John’s with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1987.

Stony Brook Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron emphasized Collins’ impact off the field.

“Our Stony Brook Athletics family is devastated by the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague Bryan Collins,” Heilbron said in a press release. “He was an elite human being on every level who was truly passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. Everyone who knew Bryan loved him, and he always returned that love right back. He was a legendary coach and administrator but his greatest legacy will always be as a kind, caring soul. My thoughts are with his wife Patti, children Tyler and Meg, and everyone who knew and loved him.”

Stony Brook football head coach Chuck Priore also mourned Collins’ loss.

“I first and foremost send my deepest sympathy to the Collins family and to all of Bryan’s former student-athletes and colleagues,” Priore said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve alongside Bryan over the past couple of years. As an opposing coach, he served as a mentor, and I have learned a great deal from working with him during our time together at Stony Brook. We certainly lost a great football coach, but more importantly a great person.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Streinger
Alex Streinger, Assistant Sports Editor
Alex Streinger is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He is the beat reporter of the Stony Brook men’s soccer and nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse teams. He interns at Movendi International, the largest independent global social movement for development through alcohol prevention.
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