| Overall UK Wins: 4 | Overall UK Losses: 2 | Win % 66.6 |
Date of Birth: April 5, 1931
Date of Death: August 4, 2018
Hometown: Biloxi, MS
For a generalized listing of officials, please consult this page.
|2/26/1972||Kentucky at Louisiana State||L||71 - 88||21||20||26||29||2||0||-||Bob Collins and K.C. Hall|
|2/5/1973||Auburn at Kentucky||W||88 - 57||31||31||28||33||0||2||-||Ralph Stout and Bob Collins|
|2/12/1973||Mississippi State at Kentucky||W||100 - 87 OT||19||22||26||15||1||2||None||Bill Bennett and Bob Collins|
|1/5/1974||Kentucky at Louisiana State||L||84 - 95||24||24||23||21||1||1||Kentucky bench; LSU Bench||Reggie Copeland and Bob Collins|
|1/26/1974||Kentucky at Florida||W||91 - 82||24||23||21||18||2||0||-||Don Wedge and Bob Collins|
|2/9/1974||Kentucky at Georgia||W||86 - 72||22||18||12||16||2||0||-||Joe Caldwell and Bob Collins|
Obituary - Gulfport MS SunHerald (August 7, 2018)
Bob Collins, Former SEC Ref and Red Cross Leader, Dies in Gulfport
by Robin Fitzgerald
Many knew him as a SEC basketball referee and supervisor of referees whose career earned him a spot in the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame.
Others knew him as a servicemen of 23 years who decided to retire in Biloxi after he was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in 1963.
Many others knew him through the American Red Cross Chapter of South Mississippi, where he served as executive director for 20 years.
Bob Collins, 87, left his footprint on the Mississippi Coast as a humanitarian. The regional Red Cross group named him the recipient of its first Humanitarian Award in 2012.
When asked if he was a native of Biloxi, he was fond of saying, "IÕm not from here, but I got here as quick as I could."
Collins later moved to Gulfport with his wife, Diane.
He was a standout baseball player while growing up in Marlborough, Massachusetts, a city near Boston. He played with the Boston Braves until an injury ended his career.
He retired from the Air Force in 1979 and moved to Biloxi.
He became a basketball coach and then a referee in the Metro Conference, Conference USA and later in the Southeastern Conference.
Collins never lost his Boston accent. His grandchildren would tell him to not say, "you are going to park your car," his wife said.
"He was an endearing guy once you got past that Boston accent," Biloxi spokesman Vincent Creel said.
While there are "tons of great anecdotes about Bob Collins," he said, CreelÕs favorite is from when Collins was refereeing a LSU basketball game in the late 1960s, when Pistol Pete Maravich played on the team his own father coached.Ō
"All eyes, of course, were always on Pistol Pete when he was on the court, but Bob liked to keep things in context," Creel said.
The coach pulled Collins aside in a game and said opposing players were "all over PeteÕs back and they should be called for a foul."
"IÕll keep an eye out for that," Bob said, "What number is Pistol Pete?"
ÔPeople need helpÕ
Also after military retirement, Collins also started working with the Red Cross as director of service to military families and blood services, a job he held for five years before becoming executive director. The Red Cross chapter grew from four counties to 28.
He and his wife met while Collins was working for the Red Cross. He was at Camp Wilkes while his wifeÕs daughter was a swim instructor at a camp for special needs children.
The couple had 23 "fun" years together, Diane Collins said.
Her husband later became a supervisor over referees and held camps for referees.
"After he hung up his whistle, he would watch a game if he knew one of the officials," she said. "He wanted to see if they were still doing OK."
She described him as "funny and friendly."
"We could go to Podunk and somebody would know him. HeÕd call them Coach if he didnÕt remember their name."
Collins led Red Cross efforts that helped countless people, such as in 1995, when three Harrison County rivers flooded about 300 homes and forced more than 1,000 residents to evacuate.
"It was a great run," he once told the Sun Herald. "They do great things for humanity and itÕs a great association to be a part of."
He also became vocal when a federal agency, in 2002, was unable to process applications fast enough to about 225 needy Harrison County families waiting for help with electrical services during a heat wave. He offered the agency some volunteers to help.
"Our philosophy in a crisis is that people need help now, not a month from now," Collins said.