With the news of Mike Rhoades officially heading to Penn State, VCU Athletics announced Wednesday night the addition of Ryan Odom as new mean’s basketball coach.
Via VCU Athletics:
RICHMOND, Va. – Ryan Odom, who authored one of the greatest NCAA Tournament victories, has been named the 13th men’s basketball coach in VCU history, Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin announced Wednesday.
“We welcome Ryan Odom as our next basketball coach with great excitement about our future,” McLaughlin said. “Ryan has won at every stop along his coaching journey and has done it with a player-centered approach that develops them into young men who will succeed in the world. He has won conference championships, won in the NCAA Tournament and raised the standard at every program through integrity, empathy and appreciation. We know that Ryan will continue to build sustainable national success that will take our next step toward winning a national championship and we look forward to having Lucia and the boys as part of Ram Nation.”
Odom assumes the reins of the VCU program following two seasons at Utah State, where he led the Aggies to a 26-9 mark and the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2022-23. Odom, whose career also includes an unforgettable five-year tenure at UMBC, is 170-106 overall in eight-plus years as a head coach.
“Lucia and I could not be more excited about joining the VCU and greater Richmond communities. We look forward to continuing the incredible tradition of excellence that VCU
Basketball has embodied for many years. We are humbled with the honor of leading this outstanding program and will fight each day to produce a program our university, alumni and fans can be extremely proud to call their own. I would like to particularly thank Dr. Michael Rao and Ed McLaughlin for their belief in me and for this wonderful opportunity. We cannot wait to join this tremendous community and begin to work to enhance this incredible program.”
A North Carolina native, Odom and UMBC made history in 2018, when he steered the Retrievers to a 74-54 victory over No. 1 overall seed Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament – the first win by a No. 16 seed over a No. 1 seed in history. He led UMBC to a 97-60 mark in five seasons, a tenure that included a 2018 America East Tournament Championship, as well as a 2021 regular season crown. For his efforts, Odom was named the 2021 America East Conference and the NABC District 1 Coach of the Year.
Odom took over the UMBC program in 2016-17 and sparked an immediate 14-win improvement. Prior to Odom’s arrival, UMBC had endured eight consecutive losing seasons and had failed to reach double digit wins in seven straight years. Odom promptly steered the Retrievers to three straight 20-win campaigns.
This past season at Utah State, Odom’s high-powered offense, which ranked 16th nationally, spurred the Aggies to 26 victories, including a 13-5 mark in a Mountain West Conference that saw four teams reach the NCAA Tournament. Utah State advanced to the Mountain West Championship Game before falling to eventual Final Four qualifier San Diego State 62-57. Utah State, rated 18th in the NCAA’s NET rankings, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 10 seed in the South Region. Odom was 44-25 in two seasons at Utah State.
He also served as head coach at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne in 2015-16 and led the Bears to a 21-10 mark – a 13-win improvement — and the school’s first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. In addition, Odom served as interim head coach at Charlotte for the final 19 games of the 2014-15 season.
Odom was a four-year starting point guard at nearby Hampden-Sydney prior to graduating with a degree in economics in 1996. He began his coaching career as an administrative assistant at South Florida in 1997 before making stops as an assistant at Furman, UNC Asheville, American, Virginia Tech and Charlotte.
He takes over a VCU program that has recorded 23 consecutive winning seasons and has reached 13 NCAA Tournaments since 2004. The Rams captured the 2023 Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament championships and finished with a 27-8 mark.
An introductory press conference will be held Tuesday in Richmond. More details will follow in the coming days.