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The end of an error

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.

 

 

 

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. Obviously VCU needs to recruit a top level coach. Just as importantly VCU needs a coach who does not view the position as a stepping stone as there has been too much of that. We need someone committed for the long run who wants to build the program even beyond where it now stands.

    Ram Forever

    Edward

  2. I’m officially retiring my season tickets and support of the program. By support I mean $$$$.
    I’m sick and tired of going through this year after year. We haven’t maintained a healthy program, head coach, or sustained an incoming recruiting classes in the past 2-3 years. We lose top recruits year after year due to a coach who thinks the grass is greener somewhere else. TIRED OF BEING A STEPPING STONE !! AD Ed will be leaving soon too. Boston College job is opening up. Just part of being a STEPPING STONE.

    VCU Alumni 04
    RAM FOREVER ( just extremely irritated with the coaching carousel )

    JRO

    • Wow…. you make it sound like VCU has been Duquesne or Fordham. Get over yourself. BTW, I’ll gladly take your tickets.

  3. James O. Don’t lose faith. This isn’t bad, bad was the period between 1989-2003. As an 04 alum you know the good times.

    Look at the positives: 7 straight NCAA tournaments, rabid fan base, new facilities, always in the A10 Championship game, a top 35-40 team annually, Justin Tillman, Johnny Williams, Samir Doughty, and D. Jenkins all likely to return.

    I know losing a coach sucks but if we can just convince them to stay 6 or more years like SS it isn’t such a bad deal. The real challenge and what will anchor the program is people like you trusting the process and continuing to support the program win, lose, or draw.

    You make the difference not the AD, not the Coach.

  4. If those recruits leave, VCU is about to hit the bottom…they’ll have zero chance to make the NCAA tournament next year.

  5. I don’t think it was the end of an error. I think Wade was the right coach at the right time. It gave Rhodes 2 more years at his current school to grow and I think he would have felt terrible in leaving Rice after one. The best part is Wade kept our two streaks going, 24 wins per year and in the NCAA tourney for 7 straight years, and I don’t think most coaches we could have gotten done what he did is first year at VCU. If we had a coach that stayed longer than 2 years Rhodes may have gotten too comfortable at Rice and not wanted to come back to VCU later. We cannot dismiss what he did and the timing of his departure may have been perfect!

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