The Penn State basketball program finds itself in need of a new head coach this spring, after Pat Chambers resigned last October. Already, the Nittany Lions appear to be zeroing in on three Big Ten assistants as the 2020-21 season comes to a close.
According to Lions 247, Michigan State’s Dwayne Stephens, Michigan’s Saddi Washington and Purdue’s Micah Shrewsberry have emerged as “top-tier” candidates to fill Penn State’s vacancy.
All three boast impressive Big Ten experience and could give a much need jolt to program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2010-11. Jim Ferry, who took over as the interim head coach after Chambers’ resignation, is also considered to be a candidate.
Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour laid out a timeline for the program’s hiring process back in January. Ideally, the Nittany Lions will be able to lock up a new head coach almost immediately following the season.
“You know, obviously, not a typical situation,” Barbour said in a media session in January. “But there is one advantage, that people know the job is open. They don’t have to speculate or it doesn’t have to be a surprise. So in terms of vetting candidates and developing our list and kind of getting ahead of the game, we’ve been doing that. So the plan would be to name a head coach immediately following the conclusion of our Penn State men’s basketball season.”
— 247Sports (@247Sports) March 7, 2021
Without a steady coaching presence, Penn State has limped along to a 9-13 season. The Nittany Lions are 6-12 in Big Ten play and will finish in the bottom four in the conference. Whoever lands the job in University Park will have a tall task in front of them.
Before the Nittany Lions make a decision on a new program leader, they’ll close out the regular season against Maryland on Sunday.