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Does Penn State Basketball Already Have its Next Head Coach?

Many believe the most deserving candidate to become the Nittany Lions’ next head coach is already on campus.



Next Penn State Basketball Head Coach, Adam Fisher
Jan 1, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry gestures from the bench during the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

State College — And just like that, we have a head coaching search. This is unfamiliar territory for Penn State fans. Very few coaches historically leave Happy Valley, and even fewer do so after a rise that was as meteoric and abbreviated as the tenure of Micah Shrewsberry. In his statement following Shrewsberry’s departure, AD Pat Kraft noted that the search for the next Penn State basketball head coach was already underway. But Kraft may not have to look far. Many believe the most deserving candidate, Adam Fisher, is already on campus.

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

In some ways, calls for Adam Fisher to be the next Penn State basketball head coach could be considered reactionary. All early reporting indicates that Penn State made an extremely competitive offer to retain Micah Shrewsberry. In this case, Kraft lost out because Notre Dame sold Shrewsberry on the one thing Penn State couldn’t offer — home.

This scenario is likely not the case with Adam Fisher. A Pennsylvania native, Fisher graduated from Penn State in 2006. Although he never played basketball at Penn State, he was deeply engrained in the program as a student. Fisher spent three seasons as head student manager and one season as a graduate manager. He returned to Happy Valley first in 2011 to serve as video coordinator and later director of player development. Fisher has served as associate head coach on Micah Shrewsberry’s staff since 2021.

Fisher was critical in signing two of the highest-rated recruiting classes in Penn State basketball history in 2021 and 2022. He was also vital this season in the Nittany Lions’ historic run to the Big Ten Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.

What would Adam Fisher Bring as the next Penn State Basketball Head Coach?

To say his ties to the university are what makes Fisher most appealing would be a serious knock to his experience elsewhere. Upon graduating from Penn State, Fisher spent three years as a graduate manager under Jay Wright at Villanova. As a member of the Wildcats staff, Villanova recorded a then-school record 30 wins and went to the Final Four in 2009. Fisher then spent two seasons at Boston University, where the school made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade in 2011.

Most of Adam Fisher’s coaching chops were developed under Jim Larrañaga at Miami. Fisher spent eight years in Coral Gables, including six as an assistant coach. Miami had one of the most successful runs in program history during this time. The Hurricanes had four consecutive 20-win seasons and were the only ACC program other than Duke to have NBA Draft picks in three successive years between 2017 and 2019. This includes Lonnie Walker IV, who was a first-round pick in 2018.

The People’s Choice

Adam Fisher already has tremendous support within the program. Within hours of the Micah Shrewsberry news breaking, several current and former Nittany Lions took to social media calling for Fisher to be the next man up. It was evident that these players, including Andrew FunkCam Wynter, and Jalen Pickett, felt that Fisher would not just continue Shrewsberry’s success but build upon it.

Hiring a first-time head coach to lead your program is always a risk. But then again, it did work wonders for Penn State basketball with Micah Shrewsberry. Fisher has a nice balance of outside coaching experience and ties to Happy Valley. If Pat Kraft decides to make Adam Fisher the next Penn State basketball head coach, it would be a stabilizing move after several tumultuous years for the program. And that may be a good thing. After all, success doesn’t always have to be in a straight line.

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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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