RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Rice head coach Mike Rhoades will be named the new VCU Men's basketball head coach, sources tell NBC12.
The word that Rhoades, who is a former assistant at VCU, will return to take over the program comes just hours after VCU announced a nationwide search for a replacement for Will Wade, who accepted a position at LSU.
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Reports earlier Tuesday said VCU was meeting with Rhoades sometime in the afternoon.
VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin made it clear the university attempted to keep Wade as coach.
"I always meet with coaches after the season to determine the best ways to build their programs and put our student-athletes in the best position to reach their potential," said McLaughlin. "Will and I agreed on the necessary next steps, and we met all of Will's requests. He ultimately decided he would rather coach elsewhere."
Wade will replace Johnny Jones as the head coach for LSU. He leaves the black and gold to accept a six-year deal with the Tigers. LSU went 10-21 last season and last made the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
Wade took over the head coach position for two seasons after Shaka Smart left for Texas. The Rams went 51-20 in those seasons, including two straight Atlantic 10 title game appearances and back-to-back NCAA Tournament showings.
"My many years at VCU were some of the best years of my life and I will never forget the opportunities that university afforded me," said Wade in a release from LSU. "But the chance to build on the tradition and talent at a place like LSU was an opportunity I have been working for my entire career."
Wade will be formally introduced to LSU students, fans and media Wednesday on the LSU campus
"We have a world-class practice facility, a sold out arena every night and one of the greatest fan bases in all of college basketball. VCU Basketball is bigger than one person," said McLaughlin. "We remain committed to ensuring that VCU Basketball remains a top-25 program nationally. We have a tradition of remarkable success that is focused ultimately on providing our student-athletes with a positive experience, focusing on our core values: student-athlete focus, drive to excel and integrity."
Rhoades interviewed for the head coaching position at VCU in 2015, which eventually went to Wade.
Rhoades spent four years on the sidelines at VCU and was promoted to the position of Associate Head Coach under Smart in 2011. The Mahoney Valley, Pa. native played an integral role in the Rams' success under Smart, which culminated in the school's first-ever Final Four appearance. Rhoades was also credited with being a vital part of the success on the recruiting trail, helping VCU secure the CAA's best recruiting classes in 2010 and 2011.
Being a former All-American point guard himself, Rhoades was a mentor to Joey Rodriguez, who posted back-to-back seasons of 200+ assists, a feat that had never been accomplished in school history and only two other times in CAA history.
He was named Head Coach at Rice in 2014 and compiled a 47-52 record in the past three seasons there.
Prior to VCU, Rhoades spent 10 years at nearby Randolph-Macon, where he helped turn the Yellow Jackets into a Division III powerhouse. He compiled a record of 197-76 with four NCAA Tournament appearances.
As a player, he led Lebanon Valley to the 1994 National Championship, the same year he was named Division III National Player of the Year.
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