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Report: Penn State Meeting With VCU Coach Mike Rhoades

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BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 12: VCU Rams Head Coach Mike Rhoades celebrates winning the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship game between the Dayton Flyers and VCU Rams on March 12, 2023, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State is meeting with Virginia Commonwealth head coach Mike Rhoades today regarding its coaching vacancy, Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported this afternoon. 

Rhoades, 50, has been at VCU since 2017, taking over after Will Wade moved on to coach at LSU. 

He’s 129-60 overall through six seasons and 72-32 in Atlantic 10 play. 

Rhoades has been to the NCAA Tournament thrice but has yet to get out of the Round of 64. This past season, Rhoades and the Rams finished 27-7 and won the A-10 regular-season and tournament championships. 

VCU was a No. 12 seed in this year’s tournament and fell to fifth-seeded St. Mary’s in the Round of 64. 

Rhoades assisted Shaka Smart at VCU from 2019-14 before becoming Rice’s headman. In three seasons, Rhoades finished with a losing record but made progress by the time he left. In his first two seasons, the team went 12-20. In his last one, Rice went 23-12 and made it to the CBI quarterfinal. 

Rhoades has local ties. A native of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, roughly two hours from State College, Rhoades played college basketball at Lebanon Valley, where he graduated in 1995. Rhoades began his college coaching career at DIII Randolph-Macon in Ashland, Virginia. He assisted there from 1996 to ’99 and became the head coach after that. In 10 seasons, Rhoades went 197-76 and made it to the NCAA Tournament four times, twice making the Sweet 16. His overall record as a college head coach is 373-188. 

Rhodes isn’t the first A-10 coach linked to Penn State. Fordham coach Keith Urgo’s name had been tossed around for the job, and understandably so. Urgo assisted Pat Chambers at Penn State from 2012-20 and, after Chambers’ ugly resignation in the fall of 2020, stuck around to assist interim coach Jim Ferry for a year. Urgo then spent a season at Fordham under Kyle Neptune before Neptune left to succeed Jay Wright at Villanova. From there, Urgo became Fordham’s No. 1 guy, and his 25-7 first campaign excited Penn State fans for a few days. 

But Fordham gave Urgo a long-term extension late last week, effectively ending his chances of returning to Happy Valley. 

Whoever Penn State names its next basketball coach might be making a lot of money. Dave Jones of Penn Live and the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that the school could offer its next boss somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million. 

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