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Coach Candidate: Mike Rhoades has the pedigree to be successful in the ACC footprint

A good coach at a great mid-major program

NCAA Basketball: VCU at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Mike Rhoades of VCU is another mid-major head coach that BC fans have been eyeing as the potential new leader for the men’s basketball program. He’s now in his 4th year as the Rams’ head coach and has helped continue that very successful program’s run of consistent NCAA tournament appearances.

Mike Rhoades has been the VCU head coach for 4 years, posting a 77-40 (.658) overall record and a 42-23 (.646) conference record in the Atlantic-10. In that time he has brought the Rams to one NCAA tournament appearance and is on pace this season to appear in another one. Before VCU, Rhoades was the head coach at Rice, an assistant at VCU to Shaka Smart, and a head coach at DII Randolph-Macon. His geographic footprint centers mostly around Virginia.

Why he’d be interested:

The ACC’s footprint is aligned with Coach Rhodes’s experience and the conference is a step-up from the Atlantic-10. BC as a program is definitely in much worse shape than VCU, but its eventual recruiting potential under the right leader with a good rebuild is higher. Asking a coach to leave a consistently successful program like VCU for a struggling one in rebuild mode is a weak argument. But if the 48-year-old Rhoades is confident in himself and is looking at long-term potential, then he may be interested.

Why it could work:

Rhoades has a lot of experience on the east coast, especially in the ACC’s mid-Atlantic footprint, and has coached high-performing teams. He took over the reins from some successful VCU coaches, sure, but he has the depth of experience to know what to do with them himself. It would take a while to see a program like BC eventually flourish under him, but Rhoades has the tools to make it happen.

Why it could flop:

The VCU program has actually declined on Rhoades’s short watch. Before his tenure, VCU had made some sort of national postseason tournament 13 times in 14 seasons, including 10 NCAA tournament appearances (with a Final Four appearance in 2011 to boot). The Rams now have only reached the Dance once in 3 seasons (VCU would not have made the tournament even if it had happened last year). He may be on pace for a 2nd NCAA appearance this year, but VCU’s yearly wins have declined from about 26 to roughly 20 under Rhoades. His success may just be overinflated by the strong program built at VCU by previous leaders.

How likely is this hire?

Pretty unlikely but remotely possible. I just don’t think the appeal of BC is enough to get him to bolt from a successful VCU program. It makes a lot more sense for him to hold on there, continue to prove his worth, and eventually take a job at a better school. Unless he truly believes he can build a program from the bottom-up, and wants to do so, he will not come to Chestnut Hill.