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Notre Dame Basketball

“Indiana Kid” Micah Shrewsberry Fulfills Dream as New Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Coach

March 30, 2023
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Micah Shewsberry graduated from Hanover College in 1999 with an audacious goal. He set out to become a college head coach by 30. 

In 2005, he took over the Indiana University South Bend men’s basketball team at 29. The NAIA program is located three miles south of the Golden Dome, and Shrewsberry soon conceived even more immaculate pursuits. 

On drives home from work, he dreamt of becoming the men’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame. Outsiders would’ve thought such an ambition to be ridiculous. The Titans went 3-28 in his first season,  but Shrewsberry’s father, Bill, always directed him to aspire to greatness.

“He's my role model,” Shrewsberry said, “he taught me a long time ago to believe in yourself and then your dreams, though impossible things may seem. Now that full circle moment is coming about.”

On Thursday, that impossible dream officially became his reality when Notre Dame director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick and president Rev. John Jenkins introduced Shrewsberry as the school’s new men’s basketball coach.

Of course, Swarbrick had a built-in advantage when attracting Shrewsberry. The school’s new men’s basketball coach developed an affinity for Notre Dame began years before he coached at IU South Bend.

“I'm an Indiana kid,” Shrewsberry said. “I grew up in Jeffersonville, moved to Indianapolis and grew up there, went to high school there from St. Matthews School to Cathedral High School. I probably didn't have a chance but to love Notre Dame [with] the amount of classmates that went to school here. 

“We had the gold helmets at our school. We had the Irish mascot. It was destined for me to be here.”

He held onto his roots throughout his coaching tenure. He spent his last 28 years in collegiate or professional basketball, which included 18 seasons at an Indiana-based program.

Micah Shrewsberry Basketball Career

Team Position Years
Hanover Player 1995–99
Wabash Assistant 1999–2000
DePauw Assistant 2001–03
Marshall Director of Basketball Operations 2003–05
IU South Bend Head Coach 2005–07
Butler Assistant 2007–11
Purdue Assistant 2011–13
Boston Celtics Assistant 2013–19
Purdue Assistant 2019–21
Penn State Head Coach 2021–23

His coaching career began as an assistant coach at Wabash College and then DePauw University, two division III programs in central Indiana, followed by a director basketball operations position at Marshall. 

Next, he took over at IU South Bend and then rebounded from a disastrous first season with a 12-20 record in 2006-07. Shrewsberry departed soon after that and spent the next 14 seasons working as an assistant under either Brad Stevens at Butler University and the Boston Celtics or Matt Painter at Purdue.

Shrewsberry still reaches out to both often to talk hoops, especially Stevens, his childhood friend.

“He's probably tired of me,” Shrewsberry said, “but I call him every other day and pick his brain, whether it's job advice or whether it's player development advice.”

Now at Notre Dame, his first challenge is replenishing a depleted roster. Four scholarship players return in 2023-24:

- JR Konieczny

- Tony Sanders Jr.

- Ven-Allen Lubin

- Matt Zona

“I'm anxious to get on the court with the current guys,” Shrewsberry said, “so they get a feel for me and how I want to do things. Hopefully, they start to see that I see value in them as players, as people, and how they can help this program and where we can go going forward.”

The Irish will also add 2023 combo guard Markus Burton, the lone remaining member of Mike Brey’s three-person recruiting class from last cycle. 

Additionally, Shrewsberry confirmed on Thursday that his eldest son, Braeden, will play at Notre Dame next year after initially signing with Penn State. The 6-2 shooting guard is rated as the No. 209 overall prospect in the class of 2023.

More help may also be on the way. Irish Sports Daily confirmed on Thursday that Shrewsberry’s other two Nittany Lion signees Carey Booth and Logan Imes were released from their letters of intent.

Imes is another three-star guard who hails from Zionsville, Ind. Booth is a consensus top-100 power forward and the type of player Notre Dame can potentially build around for seasons to come. 

Notre Dame adheres to stricter admissions standards than Penn State, but Shrewsberry habitually recruits players who prioritize academics. 

“I've always recruited kids that would be good fits here,” Shrewsberry said, “no matter what school I've been at, no matter the academic standards.”

It’s safe to assume Shrewsberry has a good chance of bringing Booth and Imes to South Bend.

His in-state ties should help the program build for the future. Butler and Purdue achieved immense success by prioritizing prospects from Indiana, which is still a hotbed for top-tier prep talent. 

“We recruited a lot of Indiana kids, which is going to be our goal here,” Shrewsberry said.
“We want to recruit this state. I grew up and I've coached all over this state. We're going to find some guys that can play here. There are guys that can play at Notre Dame from the state and we're going to recruit them.”

There are three four-star prospects from Indiana in 2024, including five-star center Flory Bidunga from Kokomo, Ind.

Former Notre Dame coach Mike Brey finally emphasized in-state recruiting in recent years. He signed four players from Indiana between the 2021 and 2023 recruiting classes. 

It represents the first time he signed in-state players in back-to-back classes since getting Luke Tyler and Luke Harangody in 2005 and 2006.

Top 200 High School Basketball Players in Indiana by Class

Class

Notre Dame In-State Signees Top-200 Prospects Four Stars Five Stars
2023 1 6 3 1
2022 1 8 2 1
2021 2 5 5 0
2020 0 6 4 0
2019 0 8 3 1
2018 0 6 4 1
2017 0 10 6 2
2016 0 7 3 0
2015 0 8 4 1
2014 0 6 1 2

All four recent in-state signees played high school basketball within a 40-minute drive of campus. In fact, Zeller is the only Indiana player that Brey signed who lived farther south than Fort Wayne, Ind., a city just 50 miles from the Michigan border.

That hindered Notre Dame’s ability to recruit top-50 Indianapolis prep prospects like five-star center Xavier Booker and forward Myles Colvin in 2023. Both attended private schools, with Booker attending Cathedral — the same Catholic high school that turned Shrewsberry into a young Notre Dame fan. 

Even with the program’s fragmented state, Shrewsberry will avoid shortcuts just to field a full roster.

Sure, Notre Dame will likely hit the transfer portal, but he enjoys coaching the players he’s built a longstanding relationship with throughout the recruiting process.

“I'm not going to skip steps,” Shrewsberry said. “I have a vision for the present and a vision for the future, but they have to be fit for this place they have to be fit for me.”

That means Shrewsberry still needs to search beyond Indiana’s borders for the game-changing talent he desires. 

“We're going to go all over the find the right fit and having the brand of Notre Dame behind you will allow you to do that,” Shrewsberry said. “We can go find somebody on the East Coast or somebody on the West Coast. No stone will be unturned to find that person and find that fit. When you do that, I think that's special.”

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