BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum
Less than 24 hours after VCU saw yet another head coach in Will Wade, take off to a Power 5 school, the athletic department has already found a replacement, according to a report.
Wasting no time, or allowing any speculation to build, the Rams have hired Mike Rhoades, the head coach of Rice, as Will Wade's replacement.
Rhoades will be the 12th coach of the men's basketball program in VCU history.
The announcement was first reported by CBS's Gary Parrish:
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UPDATE: I'm told it's done. Mike Rhoades will be VCU's next coach. https://t.co/RQMSKVjCjA— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 21, 2017
Rhoades is a former VCU assistant and associate head coach for five seasons. During his time with the Rams he helped the Shaka Smart led team to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four run in 2011.
After Smart's departure to Texas, many considered Rhoades to be on the short list of coaches that VCU would contact. His familiarity with the program and the culture was exactly what VCU was looking for in order to have continued success at the school. The athletic department went on to hire a former assistant, but instead hired Wade.
In 2014, he took on the head coaching position at Rice where he has been for the past three years. His overall record with the Owls is 47-52 with this past year being the only one to finish above .500. Receiving a bid to the CBI Tournament, it was the Owls first postseason appearance since 2012.
If Rhoades does not work out for the Rams, there is only one more assistant remaining from the Final Four team that has yet to take over the program. Mike Jones is currently the head coach of Radford and has been there ever since that season.
Wade's departure was yet another in a long line of talented, up-and-coming coaches using VCU as a springboard to a high-major position.
Jeff Capel began the trend in 2006, when he left for Oklahoma after returning the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time since 1996. His replacement, Anthony Grant, led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments before leaving to take the head coaching job at Alabama. Grant's replacem,ent, Shaka Smart, led the Rams to five straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Final Four in 2011.
Wade led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments in his two seasons and is now headed to LSU to attempt to revitalize the program.