Who could Penn State hire to replace Micah Shrewsberry? A look at 6 potential candidates

Abby Drey/

Penn State men’s basketball will have to find a new head coach after Micah Shrewsberry agreed to become the head coach at Notre Dame Wednesday.

The Nittany Lions will have to act quickly with an important offseason ahead. The roster will be subject to plenty of turnover and a new coach will need to fill nearly half the program’s scholarships, if not many more.

Let’s take a look at potential candidates for the opening.

Penn State associate head coach Adam Fisher

We’ll start with the two internal candidates first, beginning with the Penn State graduate. Fisher spent the last two seasons as the program’s associate head coach and as a key figure in the recruitment of some of its best players, including all-time great Nittany Lion Jalen Pickett. He spent six years as an assistant at Miami, but has never been a head coach before.


Taking a chance on Fisher would be a risk on some level because of his lack of experience. But he would provide stability and the ability to recruit the type of talent needed to make the NCAA Tournament consistently. That being said, it’s difficult to know how any coach would run a program if they haven’t done it before, although Fisher has learned from Shrewsberry, Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga and former Villanova head coach Jay Wright.

Penn State assistant coach Mike Farrelly

Farrelly would provide some of the same stability Fisher would from a continuity standpoint, but does not have the same ties to the program. However, he’s still from the northeast and has ties to the area that would benefit him when it comes to recruiting. A former St. Joseph’s point guard under Phil Martelli, Farrelly spent time coaching in New York, where he’s from.

He was on the staff at Hofstra for eight years, and was the associate head coach during the 2019-2020 season before becoming the acting head coach one year later. He then left for Penn State after Hofstra hired program legend Speedy Claxton over him despite Farrelly leading the program for a year. That one year may not seem like much, but having a full season to guide a program can make a difference.

Colgate head coach Matt Langel

Langel has been speculated as a candidate in multiple coaching searches, including the one at Notre Dame. He brings plenty of head coaching experience, having led Colgate since 2011. He’s accumulated a 202-174 record over that time with very different results over the last five years than the first six.

He’s led the program to the NCAA Tournament in all of the last four that have been played and has built the program into a consistent top of the conference team in the Patriot League. That being said, his recruiting ability is a question mark and that would be a major need for a program that could see almost its entire roster turn over this offseason.

Charleston head coach Pat Kelsey

Another candidate with plenty of experience, hiring Kelsey could provide an instant boost to the program. He found consistent success at Winthrop in the Big South over his nine seasons there, finishing with a record in his final eight years and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament three times. He then moved on to Charleston after Boston College hired Earl Grant away from the program.

Kelsey has had success quickly in his two years at Charleston. He won 17 games in his first season, then turned that into a 31-4 season this year that included a dominant 16-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. He’s another candidate that brings experience, but lacks the regional ties of some of the others on this list, although he is from Ohio.

Furman head coach Bob Richey

Richey has been one of the most consistently successful candidates on this list. He’s led Furman to a winning record in all six seasons, earning at least 20 wins five times. That includes this season when he took the Paladins to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after going 28-8 overall and 15-3 in the Southern Conference. His team was also responsible for one of the most memorable upsets of the first weekend of this year’s tournament, defeating No. 4 seed Virginia in the first round.

However, like Kelsey, he doesn’t necessarily have ties to the region. And while Kelsey has his Ohio roots to lean on, Richey does not and would have to adjust to recruiting at the highest level after only coaching at Furman and Charleston Southern, even as an assistant coach.

Texas interim head coach Rodney Terry

This is the first candidate to be connected to the job publicly. The Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday night that Penn State is one of two schools that has interest in Terry, who is currently coaching the Longhorns after former head coach Chris Beard was fired after being accused of strangling his fiancee. Terry took over the situation and has led Texas to the Sweet 16 — where he arrived after coaching the Longhorns to a win over Shrewsberry and the Nittany Lions.

The interim head coach at Texas spent time as the Fresno State head coach from 2011-2018, then led UTEP from 2018-2021 before joining Beard’s staff. He’s expected to receive consideration for the permanent job at Texas but would be a possibility if he does not get that position.