Ben Jones of statecollege.com has confirmed that Pat Chambers will be returning to coach the Nittany Lions for the 2017-18 season, as per Sandy Barbour. Jones spoke to the athletic director shortly after the 90-79 loss to Iowa, and she had this to say:
Pat’s our coach and is going to continue to be our coach next year," Penn State director of athletics Sandy Barbour told StateCollege.com on Sunday afternoon. "Pat and I will meet at the end of the season, as we do every year, to continue discussing how we can best provide support to the success of the program moving forward, but this week our focus is on helping the team prepare for the Big Ten Tournament.
This officially puts to bed any speculation (or hopes) of Barbour firing the coach after this season, and gives Chambers the chance to show his approach is working. He’ll have next season to make the NCAA tournament for the first time as the Penn State coach with a core of Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, and Mike Watkins. And, if history proves consistent, he’ll have senior Payton Banks and Shep Garner performing well above the level we’ve seen from them to date.
This is good news for the sake of continuity, as the players know their coach is coming back for next season. It will be interesting to see what Barbour does after the season once she does sit with Chambers. While being insured for one season is nice, recruits will want to know if the coach who’s recruiting them will be the coach once they get to Penn State. Will Barbour offer another extension if Chambers’ team makes a run in the Big Ten Tournament? We’ll find out soon enough.
But for now, we know who Penn State’s coach is going to be next season.