It’s official, Doug Collins out as 76ers head coach

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This isn’t a surprise.

Not to you — we told you this was coming a week ago. And not to the Sixers organization — coach Doug Collins said he let the organization know his plans just after Christmas.

But now it is official — Doug Collins has resigned as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. He will be staying on as an advisor. Here is what he said on Thursday morning, via CSNPhilly.com.

“I talked [a few] months ago to Tony DiLeo and Rod Thorn and I said I wanted to figure out an exit strategy,” Collins said. “I wanted to go out with dignity.”

The Sixers went 34-48 this season, which is a disappointment but it’s certainly not on Collins that it went down like this. Philadelphia made a big roll of the dice this summer trading Andre Iguodala to bring back Andrew Bynum, but Bynum’s knee issues kept him off the court all season. The team had no anchor, although Jrue Holiday certainly stepped up his game. Collins didn’t have enough to work with.

Collins is a driven coach who has a reputation for burning out players and testing the patience of management with his demands. He has never stayed at a job more than four years, he was with the Sixers for three

Team owner Joshua Harris said this was Collins’ decision (a full Harris interview video is below).

“At the end of the day, he’s a proud father and he wants to spend more time with his family,” Harris said. “Doug is a 24-7, 100 mph guy, which I really appreciate. He doesn’t want to be coaching next year anywhere. He is going to stay on with the Sixers as my adviser. He loves the Sixers. He loves the city. He’s not planning on coaching anywhere else. It was a personal decision for him. I want to make it very clear. I would love to have Doug Collins back as my coach next year. This is his decision. He’s not being pushed out.”

The question is what direction the Sixers go next, both in terms of building the team and the coach. Do they try to bring back Andrew Bynum or go another direction? What coach can they bring in that’s good at developing young players?

It’s going to be a hot, interesting summer in Philly.