Fresh Faces: An Update on Penn State Basketball’s New Look Coaching Staff
Newly hired head coach Micah Shrewsberry has made quick work in rounding out his coaching staff. Shrewsberry hasn’t been with Penn State long, but the former Purdue assistant coach has created a well-rounded coaching staff with experience at the college and professional level.
Shrewsberry started his work by hiring Penn State alumnus Adam Fisher as an associate head coach. Fisher had previously graduated from Penn State in 2006 and is best known for his time as an assistant at Miami where he was a part of a team that made the NCAA Tournament four straight seasons.
Next, Shrewsberry added a coach with NBA experience by bringing in Aki Collins as his assistant coach. Collins has over 20 years of coaching experience and has scouting experience as well with his last job being an ameteur evaluation scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Collins also served as an assistant coach at Memphis and Marquette.
Those two hirings took place a few weeks ago, but Shrewsberry did the majority of his coaching staff restructuring Monday.
Shrewsberry started by hiring Mike Farrelly, who brings head coaching experience to the Nittany Lions. Farrelly had been at Hofstra University for the past eight years and served as the team’s acting head coach last season. During that time, Farrelly led the Pride to an upset win over No. 23 Richmond on the road. Farrelly had been a part of Hofstra teams that had won back-to-back CAA regular season championships. The team had earned a berth into the 2020 NCAA Tournament after winning the conference tournament championship before COVID-19 ended the season.
The last of Shrewsberry’s work to the staff came when he decided to keep two members around: Talor Battle and Nick Colella. Battle, Penn State’s all-time leading scorer, made his coaching debut last season while working closely with former interim head coach Jim Ferry. Battle will stay on as the team’s assistant to the head coach.
Colella comes back with a little more experience under his belt as he will be spending his ninth season as a contributor to the Blue and White’s coaching staff. He worked as the director of basketball operations last season and before that had worked as the program’s director of on-campus recruiting. For this season, Colella will have a new role, as he will serve as the chief of staff.
Whether or not Shrewsberry decides to make more additions to the coaching staff is unclear, but they all will have a huge job ahead of them. With the recent announcements of Myreon Jones and Trent Buttrick to leave the program coupled with Jamari Wheeler’s decision a few weeks ago, the 2021-22 roster will look very different compared to last season.
EDIT: In other news, former Penn State interim head coach Jim Ferry was hired by UMBC on Monday to be the program's new head coach for the 2021-22 season. He replaces Ryan Odom, who left to become Utah State's new head coach. Odom led UMBC to its famous 16-over-1 upset of Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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