BEHIND THE SCENES WITH COACH CHAMBERS
CHAMBERS BU All-ACCESS INTERVIEWS
March 24, 2011 | January 20, 2011 | November 19, 2010 | November 4, 2010 | March 4, 2010 | February 4, 2010
November 19, 2009 | October 13, 2009 | April 28, 2009
Entering his second season, Boston University men's basketball head coach Patrick Chambers made his first year with the Terriers a memorable one, as he guided them to their first postseason victory since 1959 while becoming just the fifth first-year America East head coach to reach the league's title game.
Finishing with a 21-14 record, BU advanced to the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational by earning a 96-78 victory at defending champion Oregon State followed by a 91-89 win against Morehead State in the program's first-ever postseason game at home. Combined with an earlier win over Indiana, the victory over the Beavers marked the first time since 1986-87 that the Terriers defeated two major conference teams in the same season.
When he arrived on campus on April 9, 2009, Chambers promised to bring a new attitude to the team and develop an exciting brand of basketball for Terrier Nation to enjoy. He delivered, as the Terriers led the America East in scoring for the first time since 1982-83 at 72.2 points per game. A first-team All-America East honoree, junior John Holland made program history by becoming the first-ever player to lead the league in scoring at 19.2 ppg.
While Chambers focused on bringing a more up-tempo style of play to the offense, he made sure the Terriers focused on the other aspects of the game, mainly defense and free throw shooting. BU led the America East in free throw shooting for the first time since 2002-03 and in rebounding for the first time since 1982-83. Sophomore Jake O'Brien recorded six double-doubles, as the Terriers finished with 11 total, the most since 2001-02.
The team's successful year helped land Chambers a freshman class for the upcoming season that was ranked No. 10 among NCAA Division I mid-major programs by ESPN.com.
Before joining BU, Chambers spent five years with Villanova, helping the Wildcats produce four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and a berth in the 2009 Final Four. They posted a 126-45 record (.737 winning percentage), including a 2008-09 mark of 30-8, setting the school's single-season win total. The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA tournament all five years Chambers was on staff and posted a 56-28 (.667) conference record in the formidable Big East.
Villanova consistently peaked in March as well as any other program recently, achieving an 11-5 mark in the last five NCAA tournaments and is one of just three programs to have advanced to the Sweet 16 four times in that span (Memphis and North Carolina are the others). Villanova won at least 22 games each of the last five years, and its 2009 senior class has set a school record with 126 career victories.
Chambers' responsibilities at Villanova included recruiting, on-court teaching and player development. He began on the staff of 2009 Big East Coach of the Year Jay Wright in May 2004 as the director of operations. He was quickly promoted after one season to assistant coach, a role he held for three years until being named associate head coach in June 2008.
Prior to getting his start in coaching, Chambers joined the Philadelphia University basketball team without a scholarship in 1990 and would leave the team as the starting point guard and the school-record holder for assists. Currently seventh all-time in steals, he helped spark the team to four NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearances and two Elite Eight finishes.
Following graduation with a degree in marketing in 1994, Chambers entered the coaching community with a one-season stint (1995-96) as an assistant at Delaware Valley (Pa.) College. In 1999, he became the top varsity assistant at Episcopal Academy and would remain at the high school through 2004.
During his tenure there, he returned to his alma mater and served as a special assistant (2001-04) to his former college coach, Herb Magee, who in March surpassed Dean Smith on the NCAA men's all-time wins list to move into the No. 3 spot with 880 victories. In his role, Chambers assisted the coaching icon with player development off the court while designing off-season workouts and scouting opponents.
The 39-year-old Chambers is married to the former Courtney Sullivan. They have a daughter, Grace, and a new-born son, Ryan.
What They're Saying about Patrick Chambers
"Patrick Chambers is enthusiastic, passionate and is a great communicator. He has a great combination of X's and O's knowledge and communication skills with respect to the players and helping them reach their full potential. He led our coaching staff and our players to a magical season, and we are all excited to follow him as the new head coach of the Boston University Terriers."
Jay Wright, Villanova head coach
"I think Pat's past record speaks for itself. He's been with Villanova for five years and been to five NCAA tournaments while working his way up. He's put in his time and dues. You add in his five years of college experience with four years at the high school level plus his playing experience and you have yourself a good man. Congratulations to BU on making this hire."
Dan Dougherty, head coach of Episcopal Academy and former Villanova assistant coach ('66-'71)
"Patrick becoming a head coach does not surprise me. When he played for me, he led the NCAA one season in assist/turnover ratio because he performed like a coach on the floor. He always knew exactly what I wanted to run when I wanted to run it and directed the team with the ball in his hands. I know he'll be a very successful head coach at Boston University."
Herb McGee, Philadelphia University head coach
"I'm thrilled for Patrick. I got to hang out with him and Jay for two years watching them coach at Villanova. I admire the way he loves the game and loves the kids. I think he'll be a phenomenal coach for BU. It seems like a real good match. Not every assistant gets an opportunity, but I think he was a big part of Villanova's success. I'm hopeful that it will continue at BU."
Larry Brown, Charlotte Bobcats head coach and Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinee
"Pat Chambers is one of the smartest, hardest-working assistant coaches whom I have ever come across. He had an important role in helping Villanova reach the Final Four, and I know he will do a great job helping the Terriers reach great heights in the years to come."
Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated writer and CBS Sports studio analyst
"Pat Chambers distinguished himself as a tireless recruiter and savvy coach while at Villanova. As a former Wildcats beat writer, I saw Pat help Jay Wright build Villanova into a national program by bringing top players to the university and establishing the program's identity as a hard-nosed, tenacious team. Boston University is lucky to count one of the top up-and-coming coaches as its own."
Dana O'Neil, ESPN.com writer and former Philadelphia Daily News sports reporter
"Pat is clearly one of the bright, young coaches in college basketball. He played a very important role in the success in Villanova's program in recent years. He studied under one of the best coaches in the country in Jay Wright. Like Jay, he has a great way with people. He has the makings of a personality trait that's helped him very well with recruiting and will help him relate to his players and everybody else associated with the BU program. I think he's an excellent choice by any standard that you would want to judge somebody who stepped into the great coaching tradition of BU basketball because Pat has all the characteristics you would be looking for."
Sean McDonough, ESPN play-by-play broadcaster
"Pat Chambers was a terrific hire for BU. He's a guy who has learned from one of the elite coaches in the country in Jay Wright and possesses some of the same attributes that have made Wright successful. Pat has the work ethic, knows how to deal with players and also can coach. He's not afraid to get into a player when he has to, but will also give them a pat on the back when necessary. He may not be a "New England" guy, but he has recruited the area and the prep schools and was, in my opinion, a quality choice for BU."
Jeff Goodman, FoxSports.com senior writer
"Patrick Chambers joins an excellent group of head coaches in the America East Conference. His addition will help the conference continue its positive growth in men's basketball. He inherits a program with great tradition in our conference and follows a line of accomplished head coaches at Boston University. We welcome him to the America East Conference and look forward to his success in leading the Terriers."
Patrick Nero, America East commissioner