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Penn State Basketball: Chambers Introduced as Basketball Coach

by on June 06, 2011 6:00 PM

Before a few hundred people in the south gym of the Bryce Jordan Center, Patrick Chambers on Monday was introduced as the 12th head men’s basketball coach at Penn State.

A couple dozen family members, scores of Nittany Lion boosters, Penn State administrators and members of the media were on hand as Penn State president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley lauded Chamber’s arrival.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Patrick is the right person at the right time at the right place,” said Spanier, who spent three hours with Chambers in Boston on Saturday. “He has the unconditional support of the university and athletic administrations.”

Chambers, 40, spent the past two seasons as the head coach of Boston University. His teams had back-to-back 21-14 seasons, and earned a berth in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

 “Coach Chambers has the ‘it’ factor,” said Curley. “No one will be marketing, promoting and selling Penn State basketball 24/7 than Patrick.”

Chambers succeeds Ed DeChellis, who resigned two weeks ago to become head coach at Navy. DeChellis’ record was 222-232 overall, and 19-15 in 2010-2011, when the Nittany Lions earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament using a senior-laden starting lineup.

Curley noted several factors that led to Chambers’ hiring: his basketball contacts, especially in Philadelphia; his successful recruitment of McDonalds All-Americans, NBA players and sleepers; his success at player development; and his success in making academics a priority for his players.

“Patrick’s vision, passion and energy will inspire all of us,” Curley added.

A Pennsylvania native and one of 12 children, Chambers has family in State College. He’s attended several Penn State football games and was in Rec Hall when the Nittany Lion basketball team lost in double overtime against No. 1 Indiana in 1993.

Although he is a graduate of Philadelphia University and spent several years as an assistant basketball coach at Villanova, Chambers professed that he is a lifelong Penn State sports fan.

"I got the chance to see Coach Joe Paterno today and, man, that was a thrill," Chambers said. "I almost asked him for his autograph, but I figured I'd wait a couple weeks on that."

Chambers’ remarks were peppered with words like passion, commitment, family and relaionships.

His No. 1 priority?

“We need to recruit and get the best players we can who can compete,” Chambers said.

“I want to build it. I think we’ll have to build it. I want to be around to make it happen.”

Chambers put Penn State’s money where his mouth is. After the formal introduction, Chambers took a private plane to Garfield Heights, Ohio, see top recruit Trey Lewis, according to Nate Bauer of Blue White Illustrated.

The players are what matter. Coaches never score a point."

Good point. Chambers’ work has only begun.

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Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for StateCollege.com since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PSUPoorman. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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