OFFICIAL: Mike Rhoades to become Head Basketball Coach at VCU

VCU will introduce Mike Rhoades as men’s basketball coach Wednesday at an 11:30 a.m. press conference at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

Rhoades, who served as an assistant coach and associate head coach at VCU from 2009-14, will become the 12th head coach in program history. He returns to VCU following a successful three-year stint at Rice, where he led a dramatic turnaround.

Rhoades replaces Will Wade, who resigned Monday to accept the same position at LSU.

This season, the 44-year-old Rhoades led the Owls to their first 20-win campaign since 2003-04 and the program’s first postseason appearance since 2011-12. Rice’s 23-12 mark this year was an 11-win improvement over the 2015-16 season and the 23 wins were the second-most in Owls history. Rice advanced to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational.

Rhoades assumed the reigns at Rice in 2014-15 and led the school to an immediate five-win improvement. The Owls were a combined 12-49 in the two seasons prior to his arrival.

An astute eye for talent, Rhoades recruited Conference-USA Rookie of the Year and 2016-17 First Team selection Marcus Evans, a Chesapeake, Virginia, native and landed Arizona State transfer Egor Koulechov, who ranked fifth in C-USA in scoring in 2016-17, two players who helped spark Rice’s dramatic turnaround.

Rhoades’ ties to Central Virginia date back 20 years, including his five seasons at VCU, first as an assistant coach, then as associate head coach under Smart from 2009-13. Rhoades was integral in recruiting and developing the players that would lead the Rams to a historic Final Four appearance in 2011. During his tenure, VCU reached the NCAA Tournament four times and appeared in the postseason all five years. The Rams were 137-46 during that period and won the 2012 CAA Championship.

As a Ram, Rhoades recruited and molded elite-level talent. He played a pivotal role in the development of future NBA players Briante Weber, Treveon Graham and Troy Daniels during his stint on Broad Street, and several others have enjoyed successful professional careers overseas.

Prior to his VCU tenure, Rhoades enjoyed a wildly successful run at Division III Randolph-Macon in Ashland, Va. In 10 seasons as head coach of the Yellow Jackets, Rhoades compiled a 197-76 record (.722 win percentage) and led RMC to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2003.

He began his coaching career at age 23 as an assistant at Randolph-Macon in 1996 under long-time head coach Hal Nunnally. The Yellow Jackets posted winning records in all three seasons with Rhoades on staff before he was elevated to head coach in 1999 at age 25.

Rhoades played collegiately at Lebanon Valley College in his home state of Pennsylvania and led the squad to the 1994 NCAA Division III National Championship. The guard was named USA Today DIII National Player of the Year in 1995 and twice earned All-America honors. He graduated with a degree in history in 1995. He left as the school’s all-time scoring leader and still holds Lebanon Valley records in free-throw percentage (.845), assists (668) and steals (212). His No. 5 jersey was later retired.

Rhoades is also a 2002 graduate of VCU’s Center for Sport Leadership.

He inherits a VCU program that has recorded 11 straight seasons of at least 24 wins and seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Rams finished 26-9 in 2016-17 and reached the Atlantic 10 Championship Game before falling to Rhode Island. VCU received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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