Just two seasons after agreeing to become the head coach of the VCU Rams, Will Wade is headed south to take the same job at LSU, a team VCU defeated earlier this season but one that will no doubt make the now former Rams coach an even richer, rich man.
Wade leaves VCU after two successful years however, but bolts with five potential roster spots that may need filling for next year’s team.
Four of those spots are currently reserved for 2017’s incoming freshman class that includes ESPN top-100s Lavar Batts and Mayan Kiir as well as highly recruited four and three-stars Sean Mobley and Marcus Santos-Silva. The question of the night is will VCU’s next head coach be able to retain that group, something Wade was unable to do with the departing 2015 class during VCU’s last coaching change.
Only one player, Samir Doughty, remains from Wade’s initial recruiting class at VCU.
VCU’s committed incoming group is the nation’s 21st best incoming class according to ESPN. While young, it would greatly help reload a Rams team losing so much experience including leading scorer JeQuan Lewis and A-10 All-Defensive player, Mo Alie-Cox.
Just last year Wade signed an extension through the 2023-24 season on a contract that paid him $1.4 million this season and was set to dish out $1.5 each of the remaining years. He likely would’ve seen those numbers all rise before opting for a position with LSU on Monday night.
The Rams will no doubt move quickly to replace the former head coach with the likely top target being current Rice head coach and former VCU assistant under Shaka Smart, Mike Rhoades. Rhoades has coached for three seasons at Rice, taking over a 7-23 team and turning them into a 23-win team this past season that included a trip to the CBI. It was Rice’s first 20-win season since 2004 and just their seventh in the program’s 103-year history.
Rhoades coached 10 seasons of DIII ball in Richmond at Randolph Macon College before joining Shaka Smart’s staff in 2009 where he’d serve as Associate Head Coach for five seasons.
A Rhoades signing would also likely bring the return of VCU Final 4 point guard Joey Rodriguez to the Stu. Rodriguez currently serves on Rhoades’ staff at Rice as the team’s video coordinator.