With the introduction of Bill O'Brien as the new head coach for the NFL's Houston Texans on Friday and Monday morning's news that Penn State strength coach Craig Fitzgerald would be joining him, men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers shared his thoughts on the departures during his Monday afternoon press conference at the Bryce Jordan Center.
A personal friend to O'Brien and a benefactor of Fitzgerald's strength and conditioning overhaul in Penn State's athletic department, Chambers used the opportunity to express his gratitude to the pair's contributions.
"I want to thank Bill O'Brien for everything he's done for our program. He's helped us out tremendously and I became real close with him," Chambers said, wrapping up his short weekly press conference. "We're going to miss him."
Working in tandem at times in their promotion of both Penn State football and men's basketball, O'Brien and Chambers were able to bond specifically through their participation in Penn State's annual Coaches' Caravan in the spring of both 2012 and 2013.
What may be lesser known, however, was O'Brien's behind-the-scenes cooperation with Chambers to help boost the men's basketball program in a variety of different ways that Chambers was able to identify on Monday afternoon. Regularly attending Penn State men's basketball games - even lending a hand with a pre-practice pep talk before the team's upset of eventual NCAA runner-up Michigan last season - and helping out with the program's annual Coaches vs. Cancer golf tournament, Chambers also noted some of the facility upgrades and recruiting aid O'Brien helped provide.
"He did so much for this university, so much for our program - letting us in Lasch, meeting recruits, letting us walk around - just incredible," Chambers said. "And the same goes for Fitzy. We don't have a new weight room if it's not for Craig Fitzgerald.
"We're going to miss those two guys and I want to make sure that I give them a positive reinforcement and a positive shoutout. Let's think about the positives of what they did for us over the last two years. So, I want to thank them."