Penn State names Chambers basketball coach


Friday, June 3, 2011
Posted: 4:05 p.m.Updated: 8:10 p.m.
By Genaro C. Armas
The Associated Press

Penn State chose Boston University's Patrick Chambers to take over its men's basketball program, capping a whirlwind coaching search following the surprise departure of Ed DeChellis.

A posting on the website for Boston University announced the move late Friday afternoon. It was soon confirmed by Penn State.

"Get ready. We're going to bring energy, enthusiasm and a great deal of passion," Chambers, 40, said in a phone interview with the AP on Friday evening. "You'll love the style of play and new attitude."

The former Villanova assistant led the Terriers to their first America East title and NCAA tournament in nine seasons this spring, losing in the second round to Kansas. The Terriers won with an up-tempo offense while still keeping a focus on defense, ranked 23rd in the nation in field goal defense (39.9 percent).

A 42-28 record since arriving at Boston in 2009 had earned Chambers an extension that would have kept him around through 2015-16.

Now, he moves up to lead his own power conference program, though Penn State historically has had trouble stringing together winning seasons and attracting top recruits. A news conference was scheduled Monday to formally introduce Chambers in Happy Valley.

"Penn State basketball begins a new era today," Nittany Lions athletic director Tim Curley said in a statement, "and Patrick Chambers ushers in that era with proven success, an appreciation of and commitment to Penn State ideals, and the energy and enthusiasm required to compete at the highest level."

Chambers told the AP he signed a five-year deal, but he and a team spokesman said financial terms were confidential. An open records report released last week by Penn State showed DeChellis earned nearly 807,000 in compensation in 2010.

A Philadelphia-area native, Chambers heads back to his home state more than a week after DeChellis left his alma mater to take the same job at Navy. The move took Curley by surprise, coming at an odd point in the basketball calendar when most schools have their coaching staffs in place and ready for recruiting.

Curley received advice on the search from former Vanderbilt and South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler. Chambers was among the most notable names mentioned as a potential candidate early, along with Milwaukee's Rob Jeter and Duquesne's Ron Everhart.

Born in Pittsburgh, Jeter had Big Ten ties from his days as an assistant to Bo Ryan at Wisconsin. Jeter issued a statement through a team spokesman earlier Friday that he was looking forward to next year with the Panthers.

"Out of respect for Penn State, the Big Ten and Eddie Fogler, and as someone who has coached in the Big Ten, I listened to what they had to say," Jeter said. "But ultimately I continue to be very excited to be here in Milwaukee coaching my guys next season."

Everhart withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday night after interviewing earlier this week.

By Friday morning, it became evident Chambers would be the pick.

The Big Ten will be a step up in competition.

Chambers' Philadelphia ties could help in the region's fertile recruiting grounds. He joined Jay Wright's staff at Villanova in 2004 as director of operations before becoming an assistant the following season, then became associate head coach in 2008.

Chambers and his former boss spoke often this week.

"I think it was a situation he loved his job at BU," Wright said Friday night. "But coming to Penn state is coming home for him."

Chambers also played college ball under Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee, who is part of this year's class at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Chambers served as an assistant to Magee at his alma mater from 2001-04.

DeChellis stepped down last week following eight seasons to take over the Midshipmen in the Patriot League. His resignation came two months following the Nittany Lions' first NCAA appearance in a decade, a second-round, 66-64 loss to Temple.

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