It's been just about one year since Patrick Chambers became Penn State's men's basketball coach, and if the transition isn't entirely complete, it's close.
Men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers has picked up where Ed DeChellis left off in helping Penn State battle cancer.
"We're two feet in," Chambers said Thursday night during a reception for Coaches vs. Cancer's sponsors at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Well, Chambers is technically on one foot right now, but more on that in a minute.
The CVC golf tournament, held today at the Penn State Blue and White Courses, is one of the county's largest annual charitable fundraisers. An estimated 300 golfers will participate in the tournament, and their contributions will help push the funds raised for the American Cancer Society during the past 16 years close to $2 million. Through the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, a good chunk of that money (about $140,000 last year) helps local families battle the staggering financial costs of cancer.
Bruce Parkhill, Jerry Dunn and Ed DeChellis helped Penn State's CVC committee work behind the scenes to gradually grow the tournament over the last several years. Chambers is now the face of the event, just as he is the face of all things related to Penn State basketball. And, just as with every other facet of the program, Chambers has spent parts of his first year in State College getting involved.
"We've had a lot of discussions about the history, so he can be up to date and have a feel for what it took for 16 years to get where we are," said CVC committee president Elana Pyle.
Chambers squeezed maximum potential out of his first roster of players by getting everyone on the same page. He is taking the same approach with marketing the program, with expanding Penn State's recruiting footprint and with helping to foster what seems to be a sea change of sorts among the other head coaches in the athletic department. It's the same idea that head football coach Bill O'Brien referenced on several occasions during the Coaches Caravan last month -- one family.
O'Brien and five members of his coaching staff are slated to participate in today's event. So are eight of Penn State's other varsity coaches, including women's basketball coach Coquese Washington, baseball coach Robbie Wine, men's soccer coach Bob Warming and women's hockey coach Josh Brandwene.
Chambers' coaching staff will be in the field as well but the boss himself will not. Chambers had surgery three weeks ago to repair a nagging knee injury and is relegated to a golf cart. The time off his feet -- Chambers gets around the Bryce Jordan Center in a motorized scooter these days -- has been a bit of a nightmare for someone accustomed to always being on the move, but Chambers is being as patient as he can with the recovery process.
He knows he has many more miles to go. And he knows you can't lead the way on a set of bad wheels.