Mentioned this one a while ago. It’s now been made official…
FIU men’s basketball Head Coach Jeremy Ballard has rounded out his first coaching staff, as he announced Joey Rodriguez as an assistant coach on Tuesday.
“We are thrilled to have Joey Rodriguez joining Panther Nation as an assistant coach,” said Ballard. “He is a rising star in the profession who has excelled on the highest level as both a player and a coach. As a native Floridian, he brings extensive recruiting ties and connections from his high school playing days as well as a coaching career in both high school and AAU basketball. Joey possesses exceptional basketball knowledge and excels in skill building and player development. There is tremendous synergy between Joey and the rest of the coaching staff and that connection with David Cason and Jesse Bopp will be instrumental in building our program and creating our culture.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for someone that has the background, character and leadership ability of Jeremy Ballard,” said Rodriguez. “I saw first hand, this past season, his ability to relate, connect and empower young men in their quest to reach their full potential. I am really excited to work with our student-athletes and help them become better young men and achieve a new level of success on the court. My family and I are thrilled to be joining the FIU community.”
A catalyst of VCU’s historic 2011 Final Four squad, and one of the most beloved Rams in program history, Rodriguez comes to FIU after serving one season as director of player development at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he worked with Ballard, and former Rice University Head Coach Mike Rhoades.
Rodriguez also worked for Rhoades as video coordinator at Conference USA foe Rice during the 2016-17 season, where he helped the Owls to an 11-win improvement and the school’s first 20-win season in more than a decade.
Prior to his time at Rice, Rodriguez served as head coach at his high school alma mater, Lake Howell (Fla.) during the 2015-16 school year.
Rodriguez starred for VCU as a point guard from 2007-11. A deft playmaker, Rodriguez was one of the driving forces behind VCU’s 2011 march from the NCAA First Four to the Final Four. He averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds that season, including 9.0 points and 7.7 assists in the Rams’ five NCAA Tournament wins.
In all, Rodriguez helped lead VCU to four postseason berths during his career, including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2009, 2011). Rodriguez ranks third in school history in both assists (580) and steals (237), as well as 21st in points (1,362).
Following graduation, Rodriguez played professionally in Puerto Rico and Turkey.
The Winter Park, Fla., native got his start in coaching at UCF, spending the 2012-13 season as its assistant video coordinator, helping the Knights to a 20-11 record. He then returned to Richmond, and served as an assistant coach at Benedictine.
Rodriguez joins Associate Head Coach David Cason and Assistant Coach Jesse Bopp, who were both recently hired to Ballard’s staff.