UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State has found its replacement men’s basketball coach.
VCU’s Mike Rhoades officially accepted Penn State’s head coaching position and was introduced on Tuesday. Rhoades brings a strong resume to the position having played basketball at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.
He was a big part of VCU’s Final Four run in 2011 under Shaka Smart, and after a stint at Rice, he returned back to VCU and replaced Will Wade in 2017. He went 129-61 as Virginia Commonwealth’s head coach.
“Mike Rhoades is one of the finest college basketball coaches in the country. His combination of character, relationship building, competitive drive and basketball IQ is second to none in our industry,” Smart said in a release.
“He is a veteran head coach who is a proven winner at multiple levels,” said athletic director Pat Kraft in a statement. “Mike has been a tremendous recruiter and talent developer throughout his career. As a Pennsylvania native with a strong family history with our University, Mike understands what it means to be a Penn Stater and how impactful it is to be part of Nittany Nation.”
In six seasons he’s led VCU to the NCAA Tournament three times including this season when VCU won its first Atlantic Tournament title since 2015. He last coached a team with a losing record in his second year at Rice in 2015-16.
“I have known Mike Rhoades since he was a player at Lebanon Valley College. He’s a Pennsylvania guy and is one of the hardest working, innovative coaches in our business,” said former Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “I have great respect for Mike and know he will be extremely successful at Penn State.”
Rhoades replaces Micah Shrewsberry who decided to leave Penn State to become the next head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.