Penn State Basketball Staff Update

Penn State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry continues to assemble his staff with the addition of Mike Farrelly as an assistant coach. Shrewsberry also announced Talor Battle, assistant to the head coach, and Nick Colella, chief of staff, will remain on staff.
“Mike is going to be very impactful in our program,” said Shrewsberry. “The energy he brings on a daily basis is second to none. The relationships he builds in recruiting and with his players is a big reason why he has had success at every stop in his career. He did a fantastic job in his role as the acting head coach at Hofstra last season, and I think he is a rising star in this business. I’m excited to add Mike, Gina and their family to our basketball family!”
“My family and I are so excited to be coming to Happy Valley,” said Farrelly. “We are unbelievably grateful to Coach Shrewsberry for this opportunity. Coach has a great vision for this program. I can’t wait to get to work to help him build it and to help our student-athletes reach their dreams. The Penn State community has been so welcoming. Gina, MJ, Ryan and I are thrilled to be Nittany Lions!”
Farrelly joins Penn State after eight years on the bench at Hofstra, most recently serving as the acting head coach for the 2020-21 season. Promoted to associate head coach in the summer of 2019, Farrelly helped lead Hofstra to back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular-season championships in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Hofstra won the 2019-20 CAA Tournament title and earned its first berth to the NCAA Tournament since 2001.
Under Farrelly’s watch as acting head coach, the Pride defeated No. 23 Richmond on the road and won 13 games during an abbreviated 2020-21 season, a total that included eight league wins and a CAA Tournament semifinal appearance. In a six-year span (2014-15 through 2019-20), Hofstra averaged 20 wins per season, including a program-best 27 wins in 2018-19 after recording 26 victories in 2017-18.
Farrelly was instrumental to the success of the Pride program under former head coach Joe Mihalich as they rebuilt a program which had only seven wins in the season prior to their arrival in 2013. Hofstra’s 24 wins in 2015-16 were its most in a decade and that season’s CAA regular-season title was its first since joining the conference in 2001. The accomplishments over Farrelly’s last six years as the right-hand man to Mihalich included four 20-win seasons and four postseason tournament appearances (1 NCAA, 2 NIT, 1 CBI). He also helped develop Pride student-athletes who won numerous accolades during his tenure, including three CAA Player of the Year recipients.
In 2020, Farrelly was named one of the top 50 mid-major assistants by Silver Waves media and to Jeff Goodman’s list of top CAA assistants. He was also invited to participate in TopConnect 2020, the national networking program for top assistant coaches.
Prior to his time at Hofstra, Farrelly spent two seasons at Niagara under Mihalich. He guided the Purple Eagles to a 2013 postseason appearance in the NIT and regular-season Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title before following Mihalich to Hofstra. Farrelly’s diligent recruiting efforts brought two all-conference players to Niagara. In Farrelly’s two seasons, the Purple Eagles improved their overall win total by double digits from nine to 19 and compiled 13 MAAC wins in 2012-13, tying the program’s second-highest mark.
Farrelly spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at Mount Saint Mary’s where he worked with Mountaineers in all positions and oversaw academics, compliance and recruiting schedules. Before rejoining the collegiate coaching ranks, Farrelly served as the director of Hoop Group Elite, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious basketball camps from 2007-10. The organization provided instruction through camps and clinics, competition and exposure for more than 5,000 high school-level prospects. Farrelly started his coaching career at Wilkes University in 2006 as an assistant coach and director of intramurals.
Originally from New City, New York, Farrelly played for three years under Phil Martelli at St. Joseph’s and graduated with a degree in finance in 2003. Farrelly worked in the financial services sector following his graduation from St. Joseph’s, but remained involved in coaching.
Farrelly and his wife, Gina, have two sons, Michael (MJ) and Ryan.

Battle Tabbed for Administrative Role as Assistant to the Head Coach
Shrewsberry tabbed Talor Battle, the program’s all-time leading scorer, for an administrative role as the assistant to the head coach. The three-year captain returned to Happy Valley as an assistant coach for the 2020-21 season and helped mentor the Nittany Lion guards.
“Getting Talor to stay on staff was a no brainer for me,” said Shrewsberry. “He is one of the greatest players to ever play here and he has a deep love for Penn State. Our players will benefit from his vast experiences of being a player here and from his years playing professional basketball.”
“My wife, Gretchen, and our daughters are excited for my opportunity to remain on staff at Penn State,” said Talor Battle. “Penn State has always been such a special place to us, and we believe in Coach Shrewsberry’s vision for this program. Penn State changed my life, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be here to help give back to our student-athletes and learn from Coach Shrewsberry.”
From Albany, New York, Battle was a 2011 Associated Press honorable-mention All-American who led the 2009 U.S. World University Games team in scoring and earned a bronze medal during the international competition. Following his graduation in 2011, Battle enjoyed a seven-year professional career overseas, retiring in 2018. Prior to joining the Nittany Lion coaching staff, he spent two years as a financial advisor in his hometown.
Battle scored 2,213 career points during his four-year career to move to the top of the Penn State’s all-time chart to go along with more than 500 career assists. He earned All-Big Ten Tournament Team honors in 2011 as Penn State advanced to its first Big Ten Tournament Championship game and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade. As a sophomore, Battle helped lead the Nittany Lions to the 2009 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, the program’s first national title, and a program-record 27 wins that season.
A clutch performer who recorded three game-winning or tying shots at the buzzer and led numerous late-game scoring runs for Nittany Lion victories, Battle is one of only two players to lead Penn State in scoring in four-straight seasons. He was the first Nittany Lion to twice earn first-team All-Big Ten, first-team NABC All-District and first-team USBWA honors and four-time team MVP accolades.
Battle finished his career in the top five of Penn State’s career lists for assists, 3-point field goals, field goals and free throws, as well as setting the then-career record for starts and Big Ten record for career minutes played. He still holds several positions on Nittany Lion single-season top-10 stat lists.
Colella to Serve as Program’s Chief of Staff
Nick Colella, a two-time Nittany Lion basketball letterwinner, will begin his ninth season with the program as chief of staff. From New Castle, Pennsylvania, Colella served as the director of basketball operations in 2019-20 after five years as Penn State’s director of on-campus recruiting.
“I wanted to surround myself with guys who love Penn State and there aren’t very many people who love this place more than Nick,” said Shrewsberry. “He has been as instrumental in my transition to Penn State as anyone else. His knowledge of our program, school, community and conference will come in handy as we try to elevate Penn State Basketball to the next level.”
“My fiancé, Aly, and I are beyond excited to be a part of Coach Shrewsberry’s vision for Penn State Basketball,” said Colella. “His family values, leadership and experience are all qualities we value most. Since the beginning of my playing career here in 2010, followed by eight years on staff for the program, Happy Valley has been my home. I look forward to continuing my time at Penn State by helping Coach Shrews bring his vision to life and developing our student-athletes on and off the court. We Are…”
Responsible for the coordination of prospective student-athlete visits, and with restrictions to in-person visits in 2020, Colella developed innovative and dynamic solutions to share the program’s success and vision with prospective student-athletes. He played an integral role with men’s basketball summer camps and assisted with the coordination of community and camp appearances. Colella also developed and maintained strong relationships with Penn State basketball letterwinners, alumni and donors.
A member of Penn State’s 2011 NCAA Tournament team, Colella earned six starts in Big Ten games in 2011-12 due to his tremendous work ethic. He was named a captain for 2012-13 and rewarded with a scholarship.
Colella started 14 games and played in all 31 during his senior campaign as a key contributor. He scored nine points in Penn State’s senior night victory over fourth-ranked Michigan, at the time, the highest-ranked opponent defeated in the Bryce Jordan Center. Colella holds two degrees from Penn State, earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2013 and master’s degree in educational leadership in 2015.
Colella spent two years of his collegiate playing career at the Penn State Behrend campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, before matriculating to University Park. He was a practice player with the Lady Lion basketball team and then joined the Penn State men’s team as a walk-on in 2010.

Tagged with: