Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

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It’s Official: Chambers Takes MBB Position

Submitted by on June 3, 20112 Comments
Pat Chambers is set to become Penn State's next basketball coach. Photo Credit: BU Today

[Update 6:40PM] The 11-day search is finally over. Penn State has officially announced Pat Chambers as Penn State’s next basketball coach confirming all the reports that have been leaking out of the Coaches vs Cancer Golf Tournament and various news outlets the last 24 hours. Pat Chambers landed at University Park Airport on a chartered Cessna twinjet a little after 4PM today, just in time for the Golf Reception and Awards Banquet scheduled for later this evening giving him a chance to meet members of the Penn State basketball family already in attendance for the CvC Golf Tournament.

Though a formal press conference is scheduled for Monday at 2:30pm, excitement surrounding Pat Chamber’s hire is palpable. Coach Chambers also had a quick opportunity to address Nittany Nation.

“I am truly honored and excited to be joining the Penn State family… I’m looking forward to bringing passion, energy and enthusiasm to Nittany Lion Basketball. We will play a style, and bring an attitude, that Nittany Nation can be proud of.”

Welcome to the Penn State family Coach Chambers!

We’ve yet to receive confirmation from the Penn State side of the story, but in Boston, they’ve come to a disappointing conclusion. The head coach who in just two seasons breathed life into a struggling program has bolted for the greener pastures of the Big Ten.

Pat Chambers is new head coach at Penn State according to #BU team sources. Chambers on a charter flight now to PSU after 2 yrs at BU
Seth Orensky

We’ve extensively covered Pat Chambers and the Penn State coaching search over the past three days, so you may want to read through those posts to get a fuller understanding of the situation. Suffice it to say, we’re thrilled by this announcement, which should be set in stone at some point over the next couple days. A charter flight is on route from Boston to State College as we speak, and the assumption is that either later tonight or early tomorrow, Tim Curley will announce Chambers as the newest athletics hire.

Chambers’ job–turning Penn State from Big Ten afterthought to consistent contender–will not be easy, but neither was the one he faced at BU. That program hadn’t reached the NCAA tournament in 7 years, and in his very first season, the Terriers won more games than they had in any of the preceding seven. He got a student body that never particularly cared much about any sport but hockey to become deeply invested in their basketball team. And he recruited Philadelphia hard–6 of the recruits he brought in over 2 short years were Philly products–who could certainly relate with Chambers’ upbringing in the city of brotherly love. He’s even got some street cred–dude got stabbed.

The grace period for Chambers will be somewhat limited–first and foremost, he’ll have to touch base with some of the recruits brought in by Ed DeChellis who’ve been wavering on their commitments, like Ohio guard Trey Lewis, and Dayton transfer Juwan Staten. Chambers, known as a maestro working with guards, could certainly point to players he developed at Villanova like Scottie Reynolds, Allan Ray, and Randy Foye, or even John Holland, the America East player of the year a season ago who may find himself selected in the NBA draft–and argue that Lewis and Staten would be in good hands.

This is a phenomenal hire for Penn State, and as the news hits the national radar, we’ll be sure to see the big-time analysts saying so. Don’t let me understate this: this hire is the best thing that has ever happened to Penn State basketball. It’s a bigger commit than the Nittany Lions have ever got from a prospect, and, well, there isn’t exactly a huge win we can point to.

With Coach Chambers at the helm, better days are ahead for Penn State basketball. With a hockey program on the way, a wrestling team that just won a national championship and promises to compete for many more, a women’s volleyball squad that’s practically unbeatable, a women’s basketball team on the rise, and, oh yeah, a perennial pretty darn good football team, and improving or already-solid programs in a number of other sports–like lacrosse and soccer–these next few years might represent the best era in Penn State athletics history.

Does it just make you wish you could be a freshman again?

Update: 5:50 PM

Boston University has corroborated the reports, and gives Nittany Lion fans even more reason for excitement:

Men’s head basketball coach Patrick Chambers, who has led the Terriers to two 21-14 seasons since his arrival at BU two years ago, has told BU that he has accepted a position as head coach at Penn State.

In his two years at Boston University, Chambers quickly became famous for his passion, his seemingly infinite energy, and his ability to inspire his players. During the 2009–2010 season, he propelled the Terriers to the America East finals for the first time since 2003, stamping their season with a 21-14 record. It was BU’s first 20-win season since 2004.

The season also marked the first time since 1986–87 that BU defeated two major conference members in the same season, and made Chambers the fifth first-year head coach in America East history to lead his team to a championship game.

Playing the 2010–11 season with just three returning players, seven freshman, and three transfers, the team earned its first perfect home conference record since 1998. In postseason play, the Terriers hosted the first America East title game at Agganis Arena and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

This is really happening, guys!

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