Earnest Collins is in his first season as the defensive backs coach at UCF. Collins came to Orlando after spending four years at Kansas, most recently serving as the Jayhawks cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator.
In 2006, Collins helped Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib garner a spot on the All-Big 12 Conference First Team. Talib led the league with six interceptions and was among the national leaders in pass breakups. Following the season, he was recognized by SI.com as a second-team All-America pick.
Collins oversaw Talib's development in 2005, when the redshirt freshman earned freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. That season, Kansas ranked third in the Big 12 with 15 interceptions.
Under the guidance of Collins, the Jayhawk secondary ranked nearly 50 spots higher nationally as Kansas recorded a pass efficiency defense of 113.9 during the 2004 campaign after allowing a rating of 132.1 in 2003.
Kansas made a pair of postseason appearances during Collins' tenure, playing in the Tangerine Bowl in 2003 and the Fort Worth Bowl in 2005.
A 1996 graduate of Northern Colorado, Collins served as the secondary coach and special teams coordinator at his alma mater from 2000-02.
Several Bears excelled on the field at Northern Colorado under Collins, including Hassan Rashad, who was an All-North Central Conference First Team selection as a defensive back. Collins also mentored Vincent Jackson, who in 2001 paced the conference and ranked third in the country in punt returns.
Collins returned to Northern Colorado in 1999 after four years on the staff at Northwest Missouri State. While with the Bearcats, he helped the school to consecutive Division II national championships in 1998 and 1999.
From 1991-94, Collins was a defensive back and punt returner at North Colorado. He earned All-North Central Conference honors following his senior year. A four-year starter, he holds Northern Colorado records for career (967) and season (497) punt return yards.
Collins spent the 1995 campaign as a student assistant at Northern Colorado. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1996 from Northern Colorado and his master's from Northwest Missouri State in 1998.
Collins and his wife, Tabatha, have two daughters, Tayler and Marci.