There’s a new coach in town—and he’s working everything he’s got to create buzz for Penn State basketball. From the first tip-off of the season being a freebie game to spreading good cheer on campus, Coach Patrick Chambers has come to Happy Valley to play hard.
Chambers’ hiring as the 12th head coach in Nittany Lion basketball history was announced June 6 at the Bryce Jordan Center before an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 300 invited guests, including nearly 50 members of the Chambers family. (Many in Chambers’ extended family hail from eastern Pennsylvania, as does Chambers himself. Three siblings are Penn State graduates, and a nephew plays football here, according to the Centre Daily Times.)
In making the announcement, Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley said, “this will be the finest chapter in our history.” The media in attendance described Chambers as passionate, energetic, upbeat and dynamic.
Coming from Boston University, Chambers was also adored by the Boston media. “I believe Pat Chambers has the skill and experience to be the leader of a program in the Big Ten conference,” said a sportsofboston.com blogger and Terriers expert who goes by Anthony. “He showed that he could mold a young and unproven BU team together and lead them into the NCAA tourney, a feat that BU had not accomplished since 2002. Coach (Chambers) has the charisma and passion to be successful on a national stage.”
That go-getter spunk has already charmed the Penn State community and set a stage of anticipation. In addition to wowing a welcoming crowd at the BJC and making a personal call to each team player, Chambers has driven through campus handing out T-shirts, shaking hands and beckoning everyone to attend basketball games this year.
“I would ask all of you to get this Bryce Jordan Center rocking,” said Chambers at the introductory press conference. “We need support; these kids need support. They put so much time and effort into school, into weightlifting, into basketball. We would love for you to come out not just for the big games, but for all the games and get this place going.”
Penn Staters will have their first opportunity to support the new coach and his team at a Nov. 12 game against Hartford—for free. The game will be a double-header for fans—along with the highly anticipated football game against Nebraska. Times for both games have yet to be announced, pending television arrangements, but will allow fans to enjoy both contests that day.
Now with Chambers on board, Penn State basketball is expected to take it to the next level and build on last year’s appearance in The Big Dance. Learn more about Chambers in this conversation with the coach.
Learn more about Penn State’s four new assistant coaches: Eugene Burroughs, Brian Daly, Keith Urgo and director of basketball operations Ross Condon.
|2011-12 NITTANY LION NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
||SLIPPERY ROCK (exhibition)
||RADFORD (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament)
||LONG ISLAND (BHOF Tip-Off Tournament)
||Kentucky (BHOF Tip-Off Tournament)
||South Florida/Old Dominion (BHOF Tip-Off Tournament)
||Boston College (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
||Duquesne (Consol Energy Center)
||MOUNT ST. MARY'S