VCU fans express gratitude and disappointment in Coach Rhoades’ departure

This news -- triggering lots of reaction from the VCU fanbase and Richmond community as a whole.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU announced the departure of Coach Mike Rhoades, sending shockwaves through the fanbase and Richmond community.

Many VCU fans say this news cut deep as they expected Coach Rhoades to stick around for the long haul as part of the VCU family.

On the other hand, many longtime fans say they’re no strangers to this type of disappointment, as VCU has long served as a stepping stone for coaches.

“I’m surprised. It is kind of disappointing to see him leave,” VCU Student Marc Backus Jr. said.

“No hard feelings, but how are you gonna leave something that’s already winning?” VCU student Joshua Graves said.

Many fans took to social media to voice their disappointment, especially after the excitement of an A10 championship and a March Madness appearance.

“I’m disappointed,” VCU super fan Chris Crowley (aka PAV) said. “I really thought Rhoades was telling us his truth when he said that he loved VCU and wanted to be here for life, but I know things change and opportunities arise.”

PAV, a local VCU legend who has attended hundreds of games, says VCU often gets short-changed for being a mid-major program.

“But we are also built like any high-major program on this side of Duke and Kentucky,” PAV said. “We have the same if not better resources than Penn State, than Alabama, than Oklahoma.”

PAV says Coach Rhoades was such a good fit for the program, making it harder to see him go.

“A quintessential picture of Coach Rhoades goes back to like 2012. He’s missing two teeth because he’s just been scrapping with the players and decided to go for a loose ball and got his teeth knocked out,” PAV said. “I mean, you love a coach at VCU. Who’s gonna do that.”

Even through the whiplash of several coaching changes, many fans praise Coach Rhoades for his dedication over the last 6 years.

“We wish him the best, but we’re grateful for what he gave us,” Graves said.

“Rhoades has given us six good years through the hardest six years a lot of us have ever experienced,” PAV said. “I want to reassure VCU fans that VCU is awesome. VCU is going to be better than fine. We will be better because that’s what VCU does.”

As the fanbase looks ahead to next season, there’s a chance VCU could play Penn State in the ESPN Invitational, facing Ram’s now Former Coach Rhoades on the hardwood.