Notre Dame introduces Micah Shrewsberry as new men’s basketball coach
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Micah Shrewsberry era is officially underway at Notre Dame after he was introduced as the next men’s basketball coach on Thursday morning.
The Indiana native officially becomes the 18th head coach in program history, replacing Mike Brey — who stepped away from the program after 23 seasons.
Shrewsberry was most recently the head coach at Penn State, but he’s an Indiana guy through and through. An alumnus of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Shrewsberry coached IU South Bend’s men’s basketball team from 2005 to 2007. He also spent time as an assistant at Butler and Purdue for two separate stints.
In just his second season leading Penn State, the Nittany Lions played in the Big Ten Tournament championship game and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament, ending the school’s 12-year March Madness drought.
It’s almost destiny that he ended up at Notre Dame. At Cathedral, Shrewsberry said he had classmates who attended Notre Dame, the gold helmet in the hallway, and the leprechaun visit. He also said when he was the head coach at IU South Bend, he would drive past Notre Dame on his commute and dream of what it would be like to coach for the Irish.
Now that he’s actually here, he talked about his initial impressions of being on campus.
“As you go through this campus, no matter who it is, whether it’s people working at the Morris Inn or whether it’s somebody cleaning the Joyce Center and getting it ready for this press conference, whether it’s watching Marcus (Freeman) and his team practice the other day, whether it’s watching Niele (Ivey)’s team on TV, whether you see students with their backpacks on going across campus to class, you see people pursuing excellence,” Shrewsberry said. “And that’s what we want to do. That’s what we want to be about.”
Meanwhile, “Back Home Again in Indiana” is more than just a song for Shrewsberry. It’s his life.
He explained why coming home was a big factor in his decision to leave Penn State.
“Just the passion that everybody has forth, that draws you back,” Shrewsberry said. “It’s not that way everywhere. You find what you love, and what you’re attracted to.
“I don’t have many hobbies,” he continued. “I don’t really have any hobbies. . . I’m a family man and I love hoops, and that’s what brought me back.”
When the interview process started back in January, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said they had a list of 70 different candidates. That list was cut down to eight, and eventually down to six. In every single scenario, Shrewsberry was the top candidate.
“We began by identifying characteristics we thought we critical to success for the next head coach here,” Swarbrick said. “We identified 10 in total, and each time we screened, each time we went from 70 down to a smaller number, down to 8, down to 6. We applied those criteria, and every time we did, the same person came out on top.”
When Shrewsberry was interviewing for this position, Notre Dame’s roster was bare. But things are already looking up.
His oldest son, Braelen, who was committed to Penn State, will join his dad at Notre Dame next season. Meanwhile, two more players in Shrewsberry’s top 30 recruiting class at Penn State have decommitted and are expected to seriously consider Notre Dame.
He also touched on the type of players he wants to bring in to be a part of his program.
“You can win the national championship here, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to fight for every single day. We’re also going to do it the right way. We’re going to find kids that care about their academics, we’re going to find kids that want to be great basketball players, and there’s a chance for you to do both here. And if we do that, if we find those kids, we’ll be the toughest team, we’ll be the most disciplined team, we’ll be the most together team. We’re going to pursue national championships.”
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