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Lions' new coach has local ties

Penn State has chosen former 'Nova assistant Pat Chambers to run its hoops program.

New Penn State coach Pat Chambers previously coached at Villanova, under Jay Wright. (David Swanson/Staff file photo)
New Penn State coach Pat Chambers previously coached at Villanova, under Jay Wright. (David Swanson/Staff file photo)Read more

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State has tabbed Boston University's Pat Chambers to take over the Nittany Lions basketball program, capping a whirlwind coaching search following the departure of Ed DeChellis.

A posting on the website for BU announced the move late Friday afternoon, confirmed soon afterward by Penn State.

Chambers, a Newtown Square native and former Villanova assistant, led the Terriers to their first America East title and NCAA tourney in nine seasons this spring. BU lost in the second round to Kansas.

"Penn State basketball begins a new era today," Nittany Lions athletic director Tim Curley said, "and Patrick Chambers ushers in that era with proven success, an appreciation of and commitment to Penn State ideals, and the energy and enthusiasm required to compete at the highest level."

Chambers, who played for 2011 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Herb Magee at Philadelphia University, is 42-28 since joining the Terriers in 2009. He signed an extension last month that would have kept him at Boston through 2015-16.

Now, he moves up to a power conference program, though Penn State historically has had trouble stringing together winning seasons and attracting top recruits. A news conference was scheduled Monday to formally introduce Chambers in Happy Valley.

"I'm looking forward to bringing passion, energy, and enthusiasm to Nittany Lion basketball," Chambers said in a statement. "We will play a style, and bring an attitude, that Nittany Nation can be proud of."

Chambers' Philadelphia ties could help in the region's fertile recruiting grounds. He joined Jay Wright's staff at 'Nova in 2004 as director of operations before becoming an assistant the following season, then became associate head coach in 2008.

Chambers also served as an assistant under Magee at Philadelphia University from 2001 to 2004.

Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. An open-records report released last week by Penn State showed DeChellis earned nearly $807,000 in compensation in 2010.