The Penn State Basketball season is right around the corner! As we inch closer and closer, we’ll be taking a look at the 2021-22 Nittany Lions’ season. We continue our series with a closer look at the new coaching staff.
Micah Shrewsberry (Head Coach)
My bad, that’s the Peter and Ann Tombros Endowed Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry! Fresh off a second tour of duty under Matt Painter at Purdue, Shrews will make his Division 1 head coaching debut next Wednesday night against Youngstown State.
While there will undoubtedly be some learning-on-the-job aspects to being a first-time head coach, he will have a plethora of experience and knowledge gained from his assistant coaching days at Purdue and especially with the Boston Celtics and Butler before that under none other than Brad Stevens. The NBA credentials surely can’t hurt on the recruiting trail, as the incoming 2022 class already looks like one of the better ones in modern program history.
Adam Fisher (Associate Head Coach)
This year marks a homecoming for Coach Fisher, as he returns to his alma mater where the first seeds of his coaching career were planted while serving as a student manager under Jerry Dunn and Ed DeChellis. He later came back to Happy Valley in 2011, serving as a video coordinator and director of player development for two years on Pat Chambers’ staff before moving on to Miami (FL), where he had spent the last eight years rising up from director of operations to an assistant coach.
During his time in Miami, Fisher was instrumental as a recruiter, particularly in the Philly area, where he nabbed perhaps the most notable Miami alumnus currently in the NBA in Lonnie Walker. This is a coach who has climbed the ladder from the very bottom and has worked his way in to a well-deserved role as Shrews’ top assistant. Look for his recruiting prowess to come out in full force as the staff works on the 2023 class and beyond.
Aki Collins (Assistant Coach)
After serving as an amateur scout for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder the last several years, Coach Collins finds himself back in a coaching role for the first time since he did a three-year stint at Memphis from 2012-2015. He is the only one of the three assistants who has previously worked with Shrews, with the two of them having crossed paths at Marshall back in 2003, when Collins was an assistant coach and Shrews was director of operations. In addition to his coaching duties, Collins is also an entrepeneur, having established a couple of side businesses with one focused on real estate and another being a basketball development program.
Mike Farrelly (Assistant Coach)
Coach Farrelly comes to Happy Valley fresh off a stint as the interim head coach at Hofstra, where he had spent the past eight years as an assistant under then-head coach Joe Mihalich. When Mihalich had to step aside last season due to health issues, it was Farrelly who took over the reins, leading the Pride to a 13-10 overall finish but coming up short of an NCAA Tournament bid after they were eliminated in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament. After not retaining the head coaching job at Hofstra (which went to former star player Speedy Claxton), Shrews swooped in and convinced him to be a part of his first-ever staff at Penn State. Considering how basketball website Silver Waves Media named him to their list of Top 50 assistants, this seems to be yet another solid staff hire by Shrews.
In addition to the head coach and three assistants mentioned above, it should also be noted that Nick Colella remains with the team and is now Shrews’ “chief of staff” and former 247 recruiting director Brian Snow currently holds the same title at PSU.