STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – Newtown Square, Pa. native Patrick Chambers was introduced on Monday as the 12th head coach in the history of Penn State men’s basketball. He replaces Ed DeChellis, who left to take over the program at Navy.
Chambers comes to State College after two successful years leading the Boston University program, and he says he is excited for this chance in the Big Ten.
“It’s a dream come true. This is incredible,” he told KYW Newsradio. “Nittany Nation is out, the administration has been great. It’s just been incredible.”
In addition to hailing from Newtown Square, Chambers played his college ball for Herb Magee at Philadelphia University, coached at Episcopal Academy, and was a member of Jay Wright’s staff at Villanova.
He says this job at Penn State is a perfect fit:
“It brought me home. It brought me to Pennsylvania, closer to my family. As a matter of fact, I have a sister that lives here now, I have a nephew that’s a walk-on on the football team. It’s not too far from my siblings to drive up the turnpike to get here. It’s going to be great for everybody.”
And is local ties in Philadelphia should help him when it comes to recruiting this high-school-basketball-rich area.
“There’s no doubt we want to dive into Philadelphia and get some players,” Chambers says. “We’re going to have to compete with Villanova and the other Big 5 schools, and Drexel. We have to tap into our relationships, and if there’s great players in Philadelphia, we hope to get involved and try to recruit them. We’re going to do that throughout the northeast — as a matter of fact we should do that throughout the country. We’ve got to find great players that are going to help us win games and we have to do it the right way, and they have to be Penn State type people.”
So when did Chambers realize he might be pretty good at this coaching thing?
“I would say when I coached at Episcopal Academy with Dan Dougherty. I was really into my job, I was really into making money and doing a good job at the printing business. I worked with him for a year, we had a great time, I showed some passion, but my time was running small and I couldn’t dedicate as much time to practice as I wanted to. Because once I do something, I do it 100 percent.
“So I called him and I said, ‘I don’t think I can do it this year,’ and he said, ‘Nope, not letting you.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ and he goes, ‘I don’t care if you show up once a week, you are not leaving this job.’ And you know what? From then on, it’s been no turning back. I knew what he was doing — he saw something special in me.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Patrick Chambers in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Chambers went 42-28 in his two years at Boston University before taking this job at Penn State. He took the Terriers to the NCAA Tournament last season, where they lost their opener to top seed Kansas. It was the program’s first NCAA Tournament game since 2002.
Penn State is coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001. The Nittany Lions lost in their first game to Temple.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060