Mike Rhoades, Lebanon Valley College Class of 1995, Named Penn State Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Mike Rhoades LVC Class of 1995

Dr. Patrick Kraft, Pennsylvania State University vice president for intercollegiate athletics, announced that Mike Rhoades, Lebanon Valley College Class of 1995, is the new head coach of the school’s men’s basketball program. J.D. Byers ’05, Rhoades’ longtime assistant, joins him at PSU. Rhoades will be formally introduced in a press conference at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, which will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

Rhoades was the 1995 USA Today National Player of the Year, a two-time All-American, and three-time Middle Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. He received the Outstanding Player Award after leading the Dutchmen to the 1994 NCAA Division III National Championship title in a 68-59 overtime win over the much larger New York University. Rhoades and co-captain John Harper ’94 were named to the All-Tournament Team.

“Mike was a leader on- and off the court through his dedication, positive attitude, work ethic, and integrity,” said current LVC head men’s basketball coach Brad McAlester, who coached Rhoades during his senior year at The Valley. “From day one, he’s had all the attributes to be one of the nation’s top coaches.”

Rhoades, who retired as the program’s all-time scoring leader with 2,050 points (#3 now), still retains LVC program records for free throw percentage (84.5%), assists (668), assists average (5.9), steals (212), and steals average (1.9). His wife, Jodie Smith Rhoades ’96, was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III All-Region selection in her senior year at LVC.

Rhoades began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Division III Randolph Macon College in Virginia in 1996. He was named head coach in 1999, winning nearly 200 games (197) and leading the squad to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a pair of Sweet 16s.

This success led to Rhoades being named an assistant coach under legendary head coach Shaka Smart at NCAA Division I Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2009. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2011, and their teams had a run of seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2014, he received his first Division I head coaching position at Rice University in Texas. Rhoades turned around a program that had a combined 12 wins in the two seasons before he arrived, winning 23 games and reaching the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals in his third season at the helm.

Rhoades returned to VCU as head coach in 2017, leading the team to 102 wins and three NCAA Division I Tournament appearances. His teams won two Atlantic 10 Conference titles, including in 2023, after winning 27 games this past season.

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