After two great years at Penn State Basketball, Micah Shrewsberry has taken the head coaching job at Notre Dame, leaving the Nittany Lions with an opening in their top job for the third time in four offseasons. Longtime head coach Pat Chambers was unceremoniously fired and replaced by interim head coach Jim Ferry three seasons ago, while Shrewsberry came aboard right after that. Shrewsberry leaves having accomplished quite a lot in his second season with these Nittany Lions.
A native of Indianapolis, Shrewsberry has spent much of his basketball career in his home state of Indiana, going way back to his time playing at Hanover College in the late 90’s. A meager start to his coaching career saw him on the staffs of Wabash and DePauw and his first head coaching job was a IU South Bend, an NAIA school.
The next decade-plus saw Shrewsberry associated with two of the greatest young basketball coaches of this era in Brad Stevens and Matt Painter. He was an assistant under Stevens at Butler during the Bulldogs’ two crazy runs to the national title game and later spent six years on his staff with the Boston Celtics. Shrewsberry had two separate stints as a part of Painter’s Purdue staff, including from 2019 to 2021, shortly before Penn State brought him aboard.
Shrewsberry was faced with a bit of a rebuilding project early at Penn State and finished just 14-17 in his first season, but things really came together this past year. Jalen Pickett really blossomed into a star at the national level, and the Nittany Lions rode a hot streak at the end of the season into the NCAA Tournament, getting the program’s first Tourney appearance in 12 years and first win in 22 years. That strong finish and 23-14 mark had Shrewsberry eyed for a few of the more prestigious jobs of the offseason, and he’ll be heading back to his home state after all.
There are several reasons why Shrewsberry departed from Penn State, but the Nittany Lions are left in another head coaching hunt. It’s clear that the program, which had one of their best seasons in recent memory, is in much better shape than when Shrewsberry joined two seasons ago. However, they’ll need to make the right hire to maintain that momentum, which is never easy for a basketball team at a football-first school in a tough conference.
Today, we’ll be looking closely at a number of candidates for the Penn State job, though clearly these aren’t all the names you’ll hear mentioned for the position. Shrewsberry was a talented assistant lacking meaningful head coaching experience when he arrived two seasons ago, meaning Penn State could look in a number of directions for their new leaders. Proceeding solely alphabetically, let’s get right into some of the names for the Nittany Lions to consider as their next head coach.