Penn State got some tough news on Wednesday night, as fans learned head coach Micah Shrewsberry had accepted the same position at Notre Dame and would be leaving after a remarkable 2022-’23 campaign with the Nittany Lions. The move had been highly speculated about for months and came to fruition over the last few hours.
Notre Dame has come to an agreement with Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry, sources told @Stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 22, 2023
Penn State released the following statement:
This afternoon, Penn State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Micah Shrewsberry called to inform me that he was leaving the University to accept a position at another institution. We thank Micah for his contributions to the PSU community and wish him the very best. We are already moving forward in a search for a new head coach and will identify and appoint a tremendous coach, teacher and person, who will take us to unprecedented heights.
We are so proud of our amazingly talented student-athletes and all they accomplished this year and will in the future. We are also so appreciative of our student body and our passionate fans who support our basketball program.
Shrewsberry spent the last two seasons with the Nittany Lions, leading the program back to the NCAA Tournament this year after more than a decade absence. The team was highly competitive over the course of the season and relied on a number of players Shrewsberry landed on the recruiting trail, including a few key transfers. Guard Jalen Pickett was arguably the most significant of the additions.
Prior to arriving at Penn State, Shrewsberry spent years in Indiana as an assistant at various programs, including Butler and Purdue. He also spent six years coaching with the Boston Celtics with Brad Stevens, whom he coached with at Butler. Thus, his connections to the state made him an obvious candidate for the Notre Dame opening when it was announced. Speculation built initially and reached a fever pitch when Penn State made its Big Ten Tournament run earlier this month.
For Penn State, this is obviously quite a blow. Losing a coach with as much potential as Shrewsberry can’t be understated. In just two years, he turned Penn State from a Big Ten bottom dweller into a legitimate NCAA Tournament squad that battled multiple top seeds in March. That’s not something you see often at Penn State and won’t be easy to replace.
The question for the Nittany Lions moving forward will be what the program does to replace Shrewsberry. Many of the players are already endorsing assistant Adam Fisher. However, bumping an assistant up to a head coaching position is always a risk, let alone at a Big Ten program. Other names getting attention are FAU’s Dusty May, Colgate’s Matt Langel, and Martin Ingelsby of Delaware. Penn State would have a decent shot at landing any of the three, but none have the connections Shrewsberry or Fisher do to the region, let alone the conference. The best bet seems to be rolling with Fisher, even if it’s risky.