STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Micah Shrewsberry ushered Penn State Men’s Basketball to one of its most successful seasons in two decades. Now the Nittany Lions have to do what it takes to keep him.
The second-year head coach has been linked to multiple coaching openings across the country, including Notre Dame. The Indiana native spent his entire college coaching career in Indiana.
Shrewsberry retained much of the Penn State roster when he took over and in just two seasons has transformed expectations at the school. Penn State upset Texas A&M in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament and took No. 2-seeded Texas down to the wire.
When asked in Des Moines before Penn State’s first round win if he would stay at Penn State after this season, Shrewsberry said “That’s an ‘I don’t know’ question.”
According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Penn State and Shrewsberry are potentially negotiating a long-term contract extension to keep Micah in Happy Valley.
Can Penn State keep Shrewsberry?
When Penn State Athletic Director Pat Kraft was asked about retaining succesful coaches back on December 16, 2022, he said Penn State is in fact positioned to keep good coaches.
“I’m committed to keeping [-good coaches],” Kraft said. “Micah is a great coach. Micah is a really, really, really good coach.”
Details on how much Penn State is paying Shrewberry alone are not publicly available, but on the athletic department’s financial records, the basketball staff as a whole made $3.3 million during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“It’s not just about paying the coach and the great coaches know that,” Kraft said of how to keep good coaches in December 2022. “It’s about keeping the staff. Being able to hire staff if you lose staff, which is part of the process.”
Kraft is widely looked at as one of the most proactive ADs in the country on NIL and department-wide success.
“It’s also about putting the infrastructure behind [coaches] to be successful,” Kraft said. “Where can I recruit? How do I recruit? How do I feed my athletes? How do I keep my athletes healthy? That infrastructure, which I think is lacked for a lot of our sports, is where I think we have to invest in now. And we started already doing that.”
In his tenure, which began in July 2022, Kraft has enjoyed a Penn State football Rose Bowl win and 11-win season, plus watched Wrestling win its 10th national title in 12 years.
“Paying the coach is great, but the great coaches understand it’s all the other stuff that helps you eventually win a national championship,” Kraft said.
Why would Shrewsberry leave Penn State?
Rebuild after early success
It’s no secret at this point that Shrewsberry took a failing program and turned it into a winner quickly. Even this season, Shrewsberry turned a four-game losing streak in February into eight wins in nine games propelling the team into the Big Ten Championship game and ultimately the NCAA Tournament.
He successfully kept players in Happy Valley during the coaching transition in 2021 and used the transfer portal with success rarely seen on as wide a scale. Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk and Cam Wynter all became successful contributors this season and were portal products.
Unfortunately for Shrewsberry, Pickett, Funk, Seth Lundy, Wynter, Myles Dread are all likely leaving the university after this season. Those five guys play the most minutes on the entire team, and are the top five scorers.
On the flip side, his son Braeden is committed to attending Penn State in the fall. According to stats kept by MaxPreps, the senior guard averages 17.7 points per game at State College.
Shrewsberry’s Background is in Indiana
Micah was born and raised in Indiana, so naturally it is home. He grew up in southern Indiana until his family moved to Indianapolis at age 13. He continued his playing career in college at Hanover College in Hanover, Ind.
His lone stop outside of Indiana was with the Boston Celtics as an assistant from 2013-19.
His coaching acumen was well known as the head assistant for the Boston Celtics under Brad Stevens. But it wasn’t until Penn State hired Shrewsberry in 2021 that the coach got his shot at a Power Five head coaching job.
Micah Shrewsberry’s Coaching Timeline
1999-2000 Wabash (assistant)
2001-03 DePauw (assistant)
2005-07 IU South Bend
2007-11 Butler (assistant)
2011-13 Purdue (assistant)
2013-19 Boston Celtics (NBA assitant)
2019-21 Purdue (assistant)
2021-present Penn State
According to multiple reports, Penn State expects an answer from Shrewsberry on Wednesday, March 22.