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Penn State Basketball Roster Preview Part II: The Coaches

Adam Fisher (left) followed Chambers to Penn State as the video coordinator. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Adam Fisher (left) followed Chambers to Penn State as the video coordinator. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Continuing with our roster preview for the upcoming season, today we look at the entire coaching staff. Tim already profiled all of the players on this year's roster in Part 1. As I've alluded to before, this entire staff is cut from a different cloth than the Penn State Coaching Tree. Only one of them is a Penn State graduate, but they're all removed from the Bruce Parkhill era. So let's hear a little more about these brand spankin' newbies that are suppose to build us a basketball program. 

Patrick Chambers - Head Coach

We're all pretty familiar with him at this point. You should have heard that he was once stabbed, which motivated his career change into coaching. You also should know he is a part of the Philadelphia coaching fraternity. To rehash his basketball career, he played high school ball under Dan Dougherty, the legendary high school coach of 30+ years at Episcopal Academy. He walked-on at Philadelphia University to play for some guy named Herb Magee, the 2011 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee and college basketball's all-time wins leader. Chambers got into coaching by assisting for both of his former coaches before landing at Villanova for 5 years. He landed his first head coaching gig at Boston University where he went 42-28 in 2 years while making the NCAAs this past season. And now he's here at Penn State, looking to bring some of Villanova's philosophies to the BJC. 

Eugene Burroughs - Associate Head Coach

Eugene was the first coach hired to Chambers' staff in June and came on board with 15 years experience. Their relationship goes back 20 years when they were high school teammates at Episcopal Academy. Eugene went on to play basketball at Richmond University under Dick Tarrant, where he earned All-CAA defensive POY as a junior. He began coaching in 1996-1997 as an assistant to Chris Knoche at American University. Jay Wright brought him on board the following year for 3 seasons at Hofstra. Burroughs also assisted at Marist for four years before spending the last seven seasons under Billy Lange, another Jay Wright guy, at Navy. Part of the coaching carousel that took DeChellis to Navy and Chambers to Penn State was Lange resigning from the Naval Academy to go back to Jay Wright's staff.

When Lange left Navy, he recommended Burroughs for the vacant position by saying:

"Eugene can definitely recruit. He knows how to identify talent and brought in some terrific players for us," Lange said.

"Eugene is an old-school basketball coach who is grounded in the fundamentals and believes very strong in defense," said Lange, noting that Burroughs was a two-time All-Defensive pick in the CAA at Richmond. "Eugene is very good at developing players, which is extremely critical here at Navy. He is a winner and a competitor and I think he is ready to become a head coach."

Hard to know for sure what exactly Burroughs' role will be, but I'd say he'll have a big part in coaching the guards and team defense. Either way, hopefully Burroughs sticks around for a while, because his profile suggests he's on the verge of a low-major head coaching job offer in the future. GoPSUSports video interview.

Brian Daly - Assistant Coach

Daly is the third coach on this staff that is a Philadelphia native. He was a former prep standout, earning Philadelphia Player of the Year as a senior at Monsignor Bonner high school. He went on to play college ball at St. Joseph's, where he was four-year letterman. Daly went back to the high school level to start his coaching career at his alma mater as an assistant. He worked his way up to being the head coach (with a stint as an assistant at D-III Arcadia for one season sandwiched in between). Chambers brought him onto his original staff at Boston, where he's been coaching the big men the last two seasons. He was promoted to associate head coach at BU after last season before Chambers came to PSU. Unfortunately for him, all that entailed was holding down BU while they conducted their coaching search. Once Joe Jones was hired at BU, Daly was brought on here. GoPSUSports video interview.

Keith Urgo - Assistant Coach

Believe it or not, Keith Urgo is not a Philadelphia native. He grew up in Washington DC, where he played basketball for powerhouse Gonzaga High School. He went to college at Fairfield where he played basketball and lacrosse. Immediately following graduation, Urgo helped develop the non-profit organization, Peace Players International. He lived in Northern Ireland and South Africa for a couple years to help establish the program. He returned to the US and went back to Gonzaga to start his coaching career.  He was an assistant on varsity for 3 years, while coaching the JV program. Jay Wright gave him an opportunity at Villanova, where he started off for one season as the video coordinator. He took over as Director of Basketball Ops for two seasons, until last season, when he was promoted to assistant coach. 

I also asked The Nova Blog about Urgo in our exchange, Chris had this to say about him:

He was known as a good recruiter at Villanova in the DC area (which down there also stretches to Baltimore), and played a role in getting current Villanova players Mouphtaou Yarou and Tyrone Johnson, along with former player Isaiah Armwood (all from Montrose Christian) on campus. He wasn't one of the major assistants (doing in-game stuff like Chambers was) at 'Nova - but he's great recruiting. I'd say expect him to start making Maryland in-roads for PSU in the 2013 cycle.

Once again, Chris' analysis is impeccable, considering Urgo has already gotten PSU involved with 2013 Gonzaga duo Nate Britt and Kris Jenkins (moreso Jenkins than Britt). He's also been checking out players at the other powerhouse in the area, DeMatha Catholic. GoPSUSports video interview.

Ross Condon - Director of Basketball Operations

Ross is another guy with a Villanova background on the staff. He was a walk-on for Jay Wright from 2003-2007, where he earned some nice ink from Sports Illustrated for his sacrificial role. After graduation, he jumped right into the coaching profession at Radford under Brad Greenberg where he was DOBO for two seasons. Chambers hired him as an assistant coach when he got the BU gig. DOBO deals with all of the administrative stuff in the program, such as scheduling and away game travel plans, but everyone knows they're also unofficial coaches that are allowed to sit on the bench during games. GoPSUSports video interview

Adam Fisher - Video Coordinator

Adam is the lone guy on this staff with connections to Penn State basketball. He was a team manager for 4 years while he was a student from 2002-2006. After PSU, he went to Villanova for grad school where he was a graduate manager from 2007-2009 while Coach Chambers was there. Chambers brought him to BU, where he's been the DOBO for the last two seasons. The video coordinator's responsibilities are exactly what you would guess them to be. They are in charge of filming every practice and game, editing it, and exchanging with other teams. GoPSUSports video interview

This staff is significantly younger and less experienced than DeChellis', but you have to be encouraged by the chemistry. Most of these guys have all worked together before at successful programs. Their youth clearly has brought a new energy to the program.

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