(CBS) New Northwestern coach Chris Collins has made his first move as head coach.

Collins will retain longtime assistant coach and former Wildcats forward Tavaras Hardy, the school announced Friday.

“I am extremely excited to join Coach Collins as he begins his journey to lead Northwestern Basketball,” Hardy said. “He has an incredible knowledge and passion for the game, which shows in every conversation. Coach Collins has shown a tremendous amount of trust in me and I am grateful for the opportunity to help him execute his plan to build a championship basketball program at my alma mater.”

Collins pointed to Hardy’s ability to relate to his players as a key component in bringing back the assistant coach.

“I’m thrilled to have Tavaras as a member of our coaching staff,” Collins said. “His first-hand experience as a student-athlete at Northwestern is a tremendous asset to the program in that he understands what a special place this is and what it takes to be successful here. He is an outstanding talent in our profession and has a great understanding of the game. Tavaras has an excellent ability to communicate with young players which makes him a terrific recruiter and mentor.”

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