Purdue's Micah Shrewsberry Hired as Penn State Basketball Head Coach

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Boston Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry gestures to players during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Penn State has hired Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry as its next head men's basketball coach.

The Nittany Lions confirmed the hire in a release, making him the full-time replacement for Pat Chambers. 

Chambers resigned amid an internal investigation into his conduct before the 2020-21 season and was replaced by Jim Ferry on an interim basis.

The Lions went 11-14 in Ferry's lone season at the helm.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium first reported Shrewsberry's hiring. 

"I'm extremely humbled and excited to be the next head coach at Penn State University," Shrewsberry said in the release. "I want to thank Dr. Barron, Sandy Barbour, Lynn Holleran and the rest of the search committee involved in this process. The values of this university and its commitment to excellence are the major reasons why this job was so appealing to me. I can't wait to arrive on campus to begin working with our tremendous student-athletes. My family and I are looking forward to becoming a part of the Nittany Lion family!"

Shrewsberry, 44, has been the lead assistant on Matt Painter's bench for the last two seasons. He's been instrumental in guiding the fourth-seeded Boilermakers offense this season, with Purdue ranking 23rd nationally in Ken Pomeroy's offensive efficiency metric.

Prior to his most recent stint at Purdue, Shrewsberry served as an assistant under Brad Stevens with the Boston Celtics from 2013 to 2019. Shrewsberry played an important developmental role for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Tatum credited the shooting coach with helping him build a bond with his young costar.

"When I first got here, first two years, we had the same shooting coach, Shrewsberry, so we always kind of shot together," Tatum said, per Brian Robb of MassLive. "And we just always in the gym, always working, always trying to get better, just trying to push each other. A lot of one on one games a lot of shooting drills. Just came kinda natural.”

Shrewsberry previously served as an assistant under Stevens at Butler from 2008 to 2011 before his first stint at Purdue (2011 to 2013). 

The veteran assistant's first run at being a head coach will be anything but easy. Penn State's men's basketball program has long been greatly overshadowed by its football team, a fact that's hurt the Lions in recruitment and in internal support at the university. 

The Lions have not reached the NCAA tournament in a decade—they would have qualified in 2019-20 if the COVID-19 pandemic had not wiped out the Big Dance—and have reached the second weekend just once in the past 60 years.

There's no question Shrewsberry faces an uphill battle. However, with a deep coaching pedigree that includes success at the NBA and collegiate level, he's the type of hire who would help spark a turnaround in State College.