Sources: Penn State close to hiring Mike Rhoades as men's basketball coach

March 29, 2023, 9:29 AM

Penn State is working toward a deal to hire  VCU's Mike Rhoades as the school's next men's basketball coach, sources told ESPN.

The sides are deep in discussions, according to sources, with clarity on a deal expected Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN on Wednesday morning that no deal has been completed, as Penn State needs board approval of the contract. That approval is expected to come together later in the day, according to sources.

Rhoades has yet to reveal his intentions to VCU officials, according to sources, but there's an increasing expectation at VCU that Rhoades is leaving for State College.

Rhoades has continued the recent tradition of consistent success at VCU, which is widely regarded as the best job in the Atlantic 10. The Rams have reached the NCAA tournament in three of the past four years the event has been held, and Rhoades is 129-61 in six seasons at VCU.

Rhoades would replace Micah Shrewsberry, who left for Notre Dame and will be formally introduced Thursday. Shrewsberry led Penn State to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011 and the school's first tournament victory since 2001.

The hire of Rhoades would be a significant one, as he has reached as many NCAA tournaments at VCU in the past four years as Penn State has in the past two decades. The risk for Rhoades is that he's leaving what is considered a high-end basketball job for a Penn State job that's considered one of the lower-end positions in the Big Ten.

Rhoades was making nearly $1.7 million at VCU and is expected to be able to nearly double that at Penn State. It would mark yet another big hire for the Big Ten, which, along with the SEC, has reaped the benefits of lucrative television contracts in recent years. 

Prior to VCU, Rhoades worked three years as the head coach at Rice, where he went 23-12 in his final season before being hired by the Rams. It marked a return to VCU for Rhoades, who was an associate head coach there from 2009 to '14 under Shaka Smart.

ESPN's Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.