Penn State Picks Pat Chambers
Eleven days after Ed DeChellis ’82 abruptly stepped down as Penn State’s men’s basketball coach, Penn State has named his replacement: Boston University head coach Pat Chambers. He’ll be introduced at a news conference at University Park on Monday afternoon.
Chambers was at BU just two years, but posted two 21-win seasons and took the Terriers to the NCAA tournament in just his second year (though the Boston Globe couldn’t resist pointing out that he did it largely with the players he inherited from the previous coach, Dennis Wolff).
Before BU—and this is the part that many Penn State fans find appealing—he spent five seasons as an assistant under Jay Wright at Villanova. The Wildcats went to the Sweet Sixteen in four of those five seasons, including their Final Four appearance in 2009.
Penn State athletic director Tim Curley ’76, ’78g surely found Chambers’ Philly-area recruiting ties appealing. Besides his stint at Villanova, Chambers also grew up in the Philly area and played at Philadelphia University under Herb Magee, who was just named to the Hall of Fame this year.
Dave Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, often a harsh critic of the Penn State program, thinks Chambers has a chance to be the kind of recruiting salesman that Penn State badly needs.
ESPN’s Dana O’Neil ’90 is even more enthusiastic: “Penn State finally breathed life into a program that, for years, has reeked of mothballs,” she writes. “Bruce Parkhill begat Jerry Dunn begat Ed DeChellis, all decent coaches, all good men and all who moved the energy meter about an eighth of an inch every five years.” Chambers, by contrast, “is the typical kid from a big Irish family (12 kids in all), who is used to living large and loud and who has a fire and intensity that borders on manic.”
For an interesting profile of Chambers, check out this story from the Boston University website.
Tina Hay, editor