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Penn State Officially Hires Mike Rhoades As Next Hoops Coach

Penn State men’s basketball got its guy.

Former VCU head coach Mike Rhoades officially accepted the Penn State men’s basketball head coaching position on Wednesday afternoon. Rhoades will serve as the 15th head coach in the Nittany Lions’ program history.

“It’s with great honor and excitement to be Penn State’s Peter and Ann Tombros Endowed Men’s Basketball Head Coach. I would like to thank Dr. Bendapudi, Pat Kraft and Michael Wade Smith for their faith in me and the opportunity to lead this great program,” Rhoades said in a press release. “We will be bold, different and aggressive moving our program forward. We will play with great energy and excitement while always being relentless in our pursuit of making this basketball family into something special. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Following a meeting of the Board of Trustees Subcommittee on Compensation Wednesday afternoon, the group unanimously approved Rhoades’ hiring and proposed contract.

Rhoades is guaranteed $25.9 million in a seven-year contract. He’ll receive $3.4 million after his first season and his annual salary will increase by $100,000 every season.

The coach can receive up to $1,075,000 in bonus incentive pay should Penn State appear in the NCAA Tournament, reach 10 or more conference wins, win a Big Ten Tournament Championship, or achieve a handful of other feats.

Rhoades will arrive in Happy Valley with 19 years of head coaching experience under his belt and 27 total years of college basketball experience. The Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, native led VCU for six seasons en route to an Atlantic 10 Championship, Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors, and three NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Mike has been a tremendous recruiter and talent developer throughout his career,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft said. “As a Pennsylvania native with a strong family history with our University, Mike understands what it means to be a Penn Stater and how impactful it is to be part of Nittany Nation. Mike has a vision of how to build Penn State Basketball into a championship program.”

The 50-year-old began his coaching career in Ashland, Virginia, at Division III Randolph-Macon. Rhoades guided the Yellow Jackets to a 197-76 record and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the Sweet Sixteen, over the span of 10 seasons as head coach.

Rhoades joined VCU’s staff in 2009 as an assistant, then was promoted to the associate head coach role in 2011 and remained in that position for three years. He moved to Houston in 2014 to command Rice for three seasons before returning to Richmond in 2017.

Now, following Micah Shrewsberry’s departure, Rhoades will take the reins of a dwindling Penn State roster fresh off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Four Nittany Lions reportedly entered the transfer portal within the last week and two of Shrewsberry’s three Class of 2023 signees have requested release from the program. The last remaining signee is Braeden Shrewsberry.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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