Patrick Taylor hires Ehret legend Al Collins as head boys basketball coach

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Patrick Taylor has hired Al Collins from John Ehret as its new head boys basketball coach effective at the end of the current school year. Collins officially resigned his coaching position at John Ehret today but he will finish out the year teaching at Ehret.

Collins has been at Ehret for 19 seasons, since 2003.

Collins made the decision on his own to depart Ehret for Patrick Taylor.

Derrick Banks, who spent the last four seasons as the head basketball coach, will not remain with the basketball program but will remain on staff as a teacher at Patrick Taylor. The Tigers were 7-14 this past season.

Patrick Taylor athletic director Brad Womack confirmed the move and is excited about what Collins will bring to the Tigers.

“Al felt this was a good opportunity at this stage of his career for a new challenge,” Womack said. “Our gym will finally be finished this year. We felt it was a very good fit and we want to take our team to the next level to be more competitive locally and on a statewide level and feel Al is the person who can do that.”

Collins became famous for John Ehret winning the state championship in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina with a group of players from different schools and backgrounds who came together in a short period of time for a great accomplishment.

The movie “Hurricane Season” personified the struggle and the triumph of the the 2005-06 Patriots. Collins was the central character in the movie, portrayed by Forest Whitaker.

The Patriots struggled to a 3-19 mark this past season.

Ehret athletic director Sheena Smith, who is in her 15th year at John Ehret overall and her eighth as athletic director, confirmed that Collins is making the move of his own accord.

“Coach Collins is the only basketball coach I have ever known,” Smith said. “He taught me so much. It is bittersweet to see Al go. He was a pillar on our campus. We are sorry to see him go but we are happy for him going into the next chapter of his career. He told me this morning. He will do great for the kids at Patrick Taylor.”

Smith said the search for a head basketball coach has already begun.

“I expect we will have some very good applicants, including big names,” Smith said. “That person will have big shoes to fill as Coach Collins did so much here but we feel it is a very good opportunity at Ehret in a very competitive, tough district.”

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