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Pat Chambers Talks Attitude, ‘Being Mindful’ On Myreon Jones & John Harrar’s Podcast

It’s no secret some Penn State men’s basketball players still have a relationship with former head coach Pat Chambers.

Chambers joined senior forward John Harrar and junior guard Myreon Jones on their podcast, “The Midnight Domino Show,” Monday. They talked about coaching, explained Penn State’s culture, and reminisced on moments from when they were all in Happy Valley together.

Chambers began the episode by talking about his journey to becoming Penn State’s head coach. He played basketball at then-Philadelphia University and graduated with a marketing degree. He later spent the better part of a decade in the business world before returning to basketball, which had an impact on his coaching style.

“That’s how I ran the program, I ran it as a business,” Chambers said. “We sold out the Bryce Jordan Center, the last three years our attendance was skyrocketing. That’s not just PJ [Mullen] and I getting together…that’s me working on ‘the climb’ and all that stuff to help us generate energy and enthusiasm around the program.”

Chambers certainly had a distinct brand of Penn State basketball during his nine years in Happy Valley. He preached things like “attitude” and focused on the aforementioned “climb,” developing strong relationships with players and always focusing on improving.

Attitude is a big part of the culture Chambers tried to develop at Penn State. He said he focused on things like relationships, academics, and player development when he first took the job. Trust, especially with parents of players, is something else he preaches.

Chambers also talked about his “five pillars” at Penn State, which are accountability, faith, humility, gratitude, and passion/love built on a foundation of attitude.

“We were always about attitude…you need a great one right now, I need a great one right now for sure,” Chambers said. “I was taking a deep dive into the human aspect of ‘What is a map for success as a man?’, ‘How did you get here?’, ‘What did you go through to get to this position?’, and ‘What can you give your players and staff…on the way out?'”

Chambers, Jones, and Harrar never directly addressed the head coach’s surprising resignation from the program, but Chambers did allude to it at times. He talked about moving on and not playing the victim card amid a tough situation.

“Don’t play that card, have a positive attitude…we can be grateful about the adversity that’s been dealt to us,” Chambers said. “I treat what’s happened now — it’s taken me a little while — as a gift to challenge me on how to be more grateful and how to do my job better.”

Chambers added that he wants to come out of this situation as a better person, father, and coach. He resigned as head coach in October after an internal investigation into alleged misconduct.

Many of his former players showed discontent with this decision at media day, saying they still had outstanding questions before being instructed to keep quiet about the situation. There’s certainly something odd about two current players talking publically with their coach who resigned not long ago.

A former player alleged in June that Chambers made a racially insensitive comment in reference to a noose. Chambers didn’t address this directly in the podcast, but perhaps his words about being a “better listener” were tied to this incident.

“I learned I’ve got to be more mindful with words, that hurt me,” Chambers said. “I did a deeper dive over the last couple of years about the history of our players and what we need to do better and things of that nature. That education still goes on as I sit down here down south…but what a learned experience for me, and I’m only going to get better.”

Chambers hasn’t taken a new job yet but said he lives “down south” now. He added that he’s been working on things like mindfulness, breathing, and meditation, and had been encouraging his players to do the same.

Chambers didn’t leave the podcast without sharing two funny stories from when he was at Penn State. One involved the team’s bus driver doing a hit-and-run on the way to the stadium and the other was about a wardrobe malfunction when the team was in College Park, Maryland.

“I split my pants before the game, did you guys know this?” Chambers said. “Poor Dr. Billy’s got duct tape out duct-taping my pants together before we go out and play Maryland…who splits their pants before a nationally televised game but me?”

Through all the ups and downs and an un-happy ending in Happy Valley, Chambers ultimately is happy with how his time at Penn State went, and he wanted Jones and Harrar to know.

“Penn State was always my dream school to coach at, I want you guys to know that,” Chambers said. “I fulfilled a dream, not many people in their lifetime can say that, and I’m proud I can say that.”

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a senior business major from "Philadelphia" and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on twitter @rjparsons9. Any "serious" inquiries can be sent to [email protected]


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