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Coaches Caravan: Day I - Philadelphia and Drexel Hill

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Coaches Caravan Stop I Photo Gallery

Coaches Caravan Stop II Photo Gallery

Coaches Caravan Registration

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The 18-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan kicked off on Monday morning in downtown Philadelphia before a crowd of more than 250 Nittany Lion fans and alums.

The Penn State themed bus pulled out of the Bryce Jordan Center at 6:33 a.m. en route to the Hilton Doubletree on Broad Street downtown Philly.  Take a look through some highlights on day one of the nine-day caravan that will cover seven states and Washington, D.C.


Coach O'Brien and Coach Chambers sharing ideas on the bus ride to Philadelphia.

Stop I - Philadelphia
Head coaches Bill O'Brien, Patrick Chambers and Char Morett made the trek to Philly for the first leg of the caravan.  All three head coaches participated in a media session before speaking at the formal lunch program, which began at noon.

Chambers and Morett both hail from Delaware County in the Philadelphia area.  Coach O'Brien is a Boston guy.  As he took the microphone during the lunch event, Coach O'Brien joked with the crowd that the last time he was driving down Broad Street he was in a New England Patriots team bus, and it was not the same reception he received in the ballroom on Monday.

During his speech, Coach O'Brien shared some of his visions for the program, including the four pillars of Penn State Football - Academics, Football, Respect and Integrity.  He also revealed to the room that the team would start a new tradition of singing the alma mater with the Penn State band on the field following each home game.

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Coach Chambers said on Monday that he is thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with loyal fan base.  Since taking the head coaching position 11 months from Tuesday, Coach Chambers said he has wanted to get out into the Penn State community, shake hands and meet people.

Coach Chambers told the room of more than 250 fans that the hoops team just finished a superb spring season of workouts.  He is looking forward to beginning his second season in the fall, which will feature a stop at The Palestra in Philly for a game against La Salle.  He asked the room to pack The Palestra when the Lions return to Philadelphia in the fall.

Prior to Chambers and O'Brien taking the microphone, Coach Morett gave here younger counterparts a bit of a roast at the microphone.  She joked with the crowd that no matter where they go, Coach Chambers and Coach O'Brien have entourages with them.  The room erupted into laughter.

The coaches then fielded questions from the crowd during a Q&A session.  The very first question from the crowd went directly to Coach O'Brien.

"What do you predict for our record this year?"

Coach O'Brien laughed and responded with the same message he tells his team.

"We play 12, one-game seasons," Coach O'Brien said.

A fan from New York, who holds men's basketball season tickets behind the bench in the Bryce Jordan Center told Coach Chambers to turn around and ask him for advice any time he needs it during a game.  Coach Chambers laughed and said that he would expect nothing less from a New Yorker.

With the first lunch complete, the caravan travel party boarded the bus in the shadows of the William Penn statue atop Philadelphia City Hall en route to Drexelbrook.

- Former Nittany Lion Adam Taliaferro was in the crowd at lunch in Philadelphia.

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VIDEO: Stop I Media Interviews

Stop II: Drexelbrook
The Coaches Caravan bus drove through the heart of Philadelphia en route to Drexelbrook, the second stop on the first week.  Coach O'Brien and Coach Chambers participated in a press conference prior to the dinner program.  Take a look at what both had to say about driving through Philly and day one of the caravan in the video below.

VIDEO: Drexelbrook Press Conference with Coach O'Brien and Coach Chambers

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With the longer nature of the evening program, all three coaches spoke at great length about their visions of their programs and the athletic department.  Coach Morett delivered an energetic speech on what it means to be a true Penn Stater.  A veteran leader for 25 seasons, Coach Morett demonstrates passion for Penn State University every time she speaks.

Coach Chambers followed with another energetic, attitude-filled presentation.  Back in his hometown, the leader of Nittany Lion basketball talked about laying the foundation for future success in 2011-12.  Coach Chambers said that change is not going to happen overnight, but the energy level and work ethic the team and staff will bring to the court every night will change the perception of Penn State Basketball.

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Following Coach Morett and Coach Chambers, Coach O'Brien delivered a detailed PowerPoint presentation of his visions for Penn State Football.  The speech included slides with the foundations for the program, the staff, the signs mounted on the doors for the players to read as the enter and leave the Lasch Building and the type of football team fans can expect on the field.

All three coaches did a tremendous job engaging the audience with energetic speaking presentations.  Fans who do not have plans to attend one of the evening sessions on the Coaches Caravan, register today.  You will not be disappointed with what you hear and see.  The Caravan rolls into Baltimore for lunch and Washington, D.C. for dinner on Tuesday and Richmond for breakfast and Harrisburg for dinner on Wednesday.

- Former Penn State greats Massimo Manca and Blair Thomas were in attendance on Monday night.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can call 1-800-648-8269 (1-800-NITTANY) weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Ticket Center.

Follow Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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