Let’s Speculate! Potential Penn State head basketball coach candidates
Welcome to Let’s Speculate! on Coaches Database, where we go through programs that are or may soon be looking for a new head coach and speculate who they may hire next.
Today’s program is Penn State, coached this season by interim head coach Jim Ferry (following the resignation of Pat Chambers in October).
- Mike Rhoades – VCU head coach
- Originally from Mahanoy City, PA, Rhoades was an All-American and 1995 D-III National POY at Lebanon Valley (PA). He has been the Rams’ head coach since 2017 but had previously spent five seasons working there as Shaka Smart’s associate head coach. Rhoades is 64-36 in three seasons at the helm, including a 28-8 record and NCAA berth in 2018-19. Started his career at D-III Randolph-Macon in VA, going 197-76 in ten seasons as head coach.
- Matt Langel – Colgate head coach
- Langel has turned Colgate into one of the Patriot League’s top programs, winning three-straight league COY awards and back-to-back league titles. Hailing from just over the border in Moorestown, NJ, Langel played for Fran Dunphy at Penn and coached under him at both Penn and Temple before landing the Colgate job back in 2011. Two postseason berths and 139 wins later and Langel’s is one of the hottest names on the 2021 coaching carousel.
- Rob Krimmel – Saint Francis (PA) head coach
- A former star at State College HS (PA), Krimmel has spent his entire coaching career at alma mater Saint Francis, located just over an hour away in Loretto, PA. Geographical connections aside, Krimmel has built the Red Flash into a regular postseason contender, going to three CITs and one NIT, by way of a 2019 NEC title, in the last five years. After four years playing at the school, he spent 12 seasons as an assistant and has been the head coach there since 2012.
- Joe Gallo – Merrimack head coach
- Joe Gallo and his Merrimack Warriors burst onto the Division I scene last year, winning the NEC title and a would-be postseason berth in their first season since moving up from D-II. For his efforts, the Milford, NJ native was named NEC COY and given the John McLendon Award, a national COY honor. Prior to Merrimack, Gallo spent four years as an assistant at Robert Morris (located outside of Pittsburgh). Note: Gallo received a contract extension from Merrimack in November.
- Micah Shrewsberry – Purdue associate head coach
- A long-time Big Ten and NBA assistant, Shrewsberry’s name has popped up for a number of jobs over the last few years and it is only a matter of time before he becomes a head coach. He’s been associate head coach under Matt Painter at Purdue for the last two years and had another stint there from 2011-13. In between, he was an assistant for Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics. Shrewsberry is a Midwest guy (Indianapolis-native) who has made a name for himself on the recruiting trail.
- Dane Fife – Michigan State assistant
- If AD Sandy Barbour doesn’t go the route of a mid-major head coach (or fails to land any of the guys above), then Michigan State assistant and former Hoosier Dane Fife would be a great option. Fife may not have ties to the state, but he was raised nearby in Michigan and has been coaching/recruiting in the Big Ten since 2011 (and in the Midwest since 2005). He was one of the youngest head coaches in Division I – leading IPFW from 2005-11 – and has since been a key member of a Tom Izzo staff that’s taken Sparty to two Final Fours in the last seven years.