Report: Micah Shrewsberry Met With Notre Dame Midseason To Discuss Coaching Vacancy
While former Penn State men’s basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry seemingly began talks with Notre Dame’s athletic department after the Nittany Lions’ NCAA Tournament loss to Texas on March 18, the once-Happy Valley staple might have pondered the prospect of heading the Fighting Irish’s hoops program much earlier.
According to a report published by the South Bend Tribune on Saturday, April 1, Shrewsberry met with Notre Dame’s Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick about the basketball program’s head coaching vacancy following the Nittany Lions’ 59-56 loss to Rutgers on February 26.
With his unit’s back against the wall, needing a surge of momentum to put itself back into tournament contention, Shrewsberry allegedly took a 45-minute Zoom call with Swarbrick on the night of February 27 — just one day after Penn State’s derailing loss to the Scarlet Knights and less than 48 hours before a crucial road battle with Northwestern, where the Nittany Lions ultimately prevailed in overtime.
“Defeats like those cut deep in February,” Tom Noie of the South Bend Tribune wrote. “They linger not just for hours, but for days. This one did, yet Shrewsberry didn’t beg off the Zoom. He jumped on with Swarbrick and over the course of those 45 minutes, all but cemented his status as the next guy in South Bend.”
Although Noie reported that Shrewsberry wasn’t officially offered the Notre Dame position that night, he said, “Unofficially, yeah, it was over.”
It’s unclear whether or not Penn State’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft was aware of Shrewsberry’s alarmingly early contact with Notre Dame’s administration, as the Nittany Lions competed in eight more contests after reportedly engaging in talks with Swarbrick.
Moreover, the report fails to indicate whether Shrewsberry’s defacto initial interview with the Fighting Irish was set before the Rutgers game, which at the time, nearly ended the Nittany Lions’ hopes of returning to the Big Dance for the first time in 12 years.
Regardless of the truth’s finality, the report further cements that Shrewberry was looking to leave Penn State long before the Nittany Lions lamented in the national spotlight during their 4-2 postseason run between the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.
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