March 22, 2021
2006 Penn State alumnus returns to Happy Valley after successful tenure with Miami (Fla.)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry announced the hiring of Adam Fisher as the Nittany Lions’ associate head coach. Fisher, a 2006 Penn State alumnus, returns to Happy Valley after six seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Miami and eight years overall with the Hurricane program. His résumé includes previous experience at Villanova, Boston University and Penn State.
“When I was looking to find the right person to start my new staff, I wanted to find the perfect fit, and I found that perfect fit in Adam,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry. “He is well liked, a hard worker and a family man. The more I talked to him, the more I noticed how our values aligned. He is also a loyal Penn Stater who will fight every day to help us be successful. I’m excited to welcome Adam, Rebecca and Alivia to our basketball family!”
“I am honored and beyond excited to be coming home to coach at my alma mater,” said Adam Fisher, Penn State men’s basketball associate head coach. “I want to thank Coach Shrewsberry for this amazing opportunity to be a part of his program from day one. His vision, passion and family values will quickly be apparent to the Penn State community and all of the alumni. The future of this program is in incredible hands with his leadership. Thank you to Sandy Barbour and Lynn Holleran, who have already welcomed my family and me with open arms back to Penn State. Rebecca, Alivia and I are truly grateful to be a part of this amazing university, and we cannot wait to get started. WE ARE!”
From Jamison, Pennsylvania, Fisher was integral to one of the most successful spans in Miami basketball history. The Hurricanes recorded four-straight 20-win seasons and four-straight postseason appearances from 2014-15 through 2017-18 with NBA Draft selections in three consecutive years and numerous All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) accolades during Fisher’s tenure.
The four consecutive postseason berths included Miami’s trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2015-16, a season that witnessed victories over five ranked teams and 13 conference wins to tie for second in the ACC. The 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons added to the Hurricanes’ successful run with NCAA Tournament appearances, a 10-0 mark to start the 2017-18 season and then a top-three finish in the 2018 ACC standings.
Fisher was part of the Miami coaching staff, one of only two ACC programs (Duke) which produced NBA Draft picks in consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Two Hurricanes, Lonnie Walker IV, a first-round selection, and Bruce Brown Jr., a second-round pick, heard their names called in 2018. Dewan Hernandez was a 2019 NBA draftee.
Those results followed the Hurricanes’ efforts in bringing in top-15 recruiting classes in back-to-back seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Walker was one of three ESPN Top 100 players to ink with Miami in 2017-18. Walker IV (ESPN No. 13), a McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic All-America guard, joined guard Chris Lykes (No. 48), forward Deng Gak (No. 94) and New Zealander Sam Waardenburg in the class, ranked top 10 by 247Sports, ESPN and Scout.
In 2016-17, the staff signed High School All-Americans Hernandez (McDonald’s), Brown Jr. (Jordan Brand Classic), Australian standout Dejan Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller Jr. from national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Both Hernandez and Brown were consensus five-star, top-30 recruits.
During Fisher’s time in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes earned 20 all-conference laurels, including honors for sophomore guard Isaiah Wong as a member of the 2020-21 All-ACC third team and 2021 ACC All-Tournament Team. Davon Reed, earned third-team All-ACC and All-Defensive Team accolades, and was recognized for excellence on and off the court as the winner of the 2017 Skip Prosser Award. The Prosser Award is presented annually to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men’s basketball. Reed went on to be selected 32nd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns.
Other highlights included the Hurricanes’ appearances in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls with rankings in the top 10 and among the top 25, sell-out crowds at the Watsco Center, and the second triple-double in program history by Brown Jr. (11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists).
Miami’s 22 wins during the 2017-18 season included 11 conference victories and a third-place finish in ACC play. In 2016-17, Miami defeated three ranked teams, downing No. 9/6 North Carolina and No. 10/11 Duke in Coral Gables, as well as No. 18/19 Virginia on the road.
Miami recorded 27 overall wins in 2015-16, its second-highest total in school history. Fisher and the basketball staff celebrated 2016 ACC Coach of the Year Jim Larrañaga as the Hurricanes ended the 2015-16 season ranked No. 10 by the Associated Press and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll after a school-record 18-straight weeks in the top 25 and 14 weeks in the top 15. The win total included five over ranked teams: No. 3 Virginia, No. 11 Louisville, No. 16 Utah, No. 22/20 Butler and No. 24/20 Duke
The Canes posted, at the time, the second-most wins in program history with 25 in 2014-15. The win column included an impressive 16-point victory over fourth-ranked and eventual national champion Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium as Miami was the only team to defeat the Blue Devils at home that year. Miami also defeated both No. 8/7 Florida and Syracuse on their home courts, two of Canes’ 10 regular-season wins away from home. Postseason play added to the win total as Miami advanced to the NIT Championship game in Madison Square Garden.
Fisher joined the Hurricane program after gaining experience on the basketball staffs at Boston University and Penn State. As the director of basketball operations for Boston University for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, he helped the Terriers to back-to-back 21-win seasons and postseason appearances. BU won the 2011 America East Conference Championship and advanced to its first NCAA Tournament berth nearly a decade. The previous year, the Terriers reached the semifinals of the 2010 CBI Tournament.
In 2011, Fisher returned to his alma mater as the Nittany Lions’ video coordinator and was promoted to the director of player development position in 2012.
Fisher earned his master’s degree in education leadership in 2009 while working as a graduate manager for Villanova under Jay Wright from 2007-09. During that time, the Wildcats reached the Sweet 16 in 2008 and won the East Regional in 2009 to advance to the Final Four with a then-school-record 30 wins.
Fisher graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2006. While there, he worked for three seasons as head student manager and one season as a graduate manager. Fisher assisted with player workouts, handled administrative duties and helped with team travel.
Fisher and his wife, Rebecca, have an infant daughter, Alivia.
— NITTANY LIONS —
COURTESY PENN STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS