Coach Rhoades finalizes staff for ’17-’18 season

Almost two months after taking the stage, being introduced as the next men’s head basketball coach, Coach Rhoades has finalized his coaching staff for the 2017-2018 season.

If you’ve been a Ram fan for the last few years, you will recognize some names and faces on the bench this upcoming season.

Jeremy Ballard is the associate head coach under Rhoades. Ballard served as an assistant coach at VCU from 2012-2015. He most recently served as an assistant at Pittsburg under coach Kevin Stallings.

J.D. Byers and Brent Scott will serve as assistant coaches. Previously, both were assistants at Rice University and made the trip with Coach Rhoades as they were instrumental in turning the Owls basketball program into a 23 win team last year, their most in program history.

Jimmy Martelli may be a familiar name for some VCU fans. His father, Phil Martelli, is the longtime head coach at Saint Joseph’s head coach. The younger Martelli also was an assistant coach under Rhoades in 2006-2007 at Randolph Macon College and will work as the director of basketball operations for the 2017-2018 season.

Rhoades has brought back a VCU fan favorite in Joey Rodriguez who will take on the role of director of player development. Rodriguez was the point guard in 2011 during the Rams memorable Final Four run.

Mike Venezia (director of student-athlete development) and Justin Levine (video coordinator) both are moving up the ranks after starting as VCU graduate assistants. Venezia spent last year in as a graduate assistant at Texas and Levine, at VCU.

Last but not least, Don Brown will assume the role as the strength and conditioning coach for VCU. Brown was in the same role last year at Rice University under Rhoades and also spent some time as East Tennessee State.

Michael Hagan is a '04 VCU Graduate (Mass Comm) and a lifelong Richmonder. He also is a full time commercial & video producer. His favorite VCU ...