Most college coaches are given one real shot at making an impact and leaving a legacy. It’s a win or go home type career path, with tons of fame and fortune if you’re the former but endless disgust and resentment if you find yourself in the latter category.
Hopping Herb, could find himself on this list soon enough...
Sure, there’s plenty of bench bouncers and job jumpers, who seem to find their way from school to school, mid-major to mid-major or from Raleigh, NC to Arizona State (Hello, Herb Sendek and Lon Kruger). But, many college basketball coaches open and close their head coaching careers with one bad screw up.
The lucky are afforded another opportunity, or two, or five. But, how do they fare?
This year the likes of: Billy Gillispie, Mark Gottfried, and others were all given a second chance at life in the NCAA ranks. They’ve each enjoyed some success in their career but the questions still linger.
Will Gillispie prosper as he did in College Station or will he flounder like he did at Kentucky? Is Mark Gottfried the right man for N.C State, in the post Sidney Lowe era, or will his days of mediocrity in Tuscaloosa stick with him?
The queries will keep piling up amongst fans and foes alike. The unnerving “what if” scenarios will continue to fuel the fire if immediate gratification isn’t found in the form of wins and losses. And legacies will endure further criticism and scrutiny, as analysts and experts view the actions of each journeyman with a microscopic lens.
After nearly a two week search for their next head coach, Penn State seems to have found their man.
Jeff Goodman from CBS Sports reported early Thursday night that Penn St was in heavy pursuit of Boston University head man Patrick Chambers. The acclaimed college basketball writer also noted that no formal offer has yet been received by Chambers.
Could this be an omen of things to come in Happy Valley?
This hire could be a huge move for Chambers as he would jump from the America East conference to the Big Ten with a program that is looking towards a bright future.
Although it may be a good chance for Chambers the move seems like more of a push by the Nittany Lions. Chambers has only been a head coach for two years and he doesn’t have much more than last year’s success in the America East and tournament appearance to work off.
The positives that most people may overlook are that Chambers is a homegrown Pennsylvanian with a track record for success in the state. He played point-guard at Philladelphia University in the early 90’s and after spending three years as an assistant there took a job on Jay Wright’s staff at Villanova.
Chambers was one of the head recruiters during his tenure at Villanova and helped Wright make his way to the NCAA tournament, including the 2009 Final Four, in each of the six seasons he served as an assistant.
Moving up the ranks pretty quickly, Chambers is 42-28 in his 2 season at BU with a conference title and NCAA berth (both 2011) under his belt already.
If, or more likely when, Chambers becomes the head man in Happy Valley look out for him to set out a full court press on talent in the local region. He’s got some great skills at convincing good players to take a chance and could invade on both Wright and Pitt’s Jamie Dixon’s recruiting territory.
This could be a very good hire for Penn State AD Tim Curley and the Nittany Lion staff, especially if Chambers is able to re-establish his recruiting prowess down the east coast.