VCU is wasting no time getting its next coach in place. With Mike Rhoades accepting a seven-year offer to move to Penn State, the Rams have hired Utah State coach Ryan Odom, the school announced Wednesday night.
CBS Sports was the first to report the move earlier on Wednesday.
"We welcome Ryan Odom as our next basketball coach with great excitement about our future," VCU athletic director Ed 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."
McLaughlin has a longstanding relationship with Odom and, per sources, made overtures earlier this week, once it became a possibility that Penn State could lure away Rhoades. Odom was a hot commodity coming off Utah State's tournament appearance. He held off on an offer from South Florida once VCU signaled interest.
Odom is VCU's its sixth coach in 17 years. The previous five (Jeff Capel, Anthony Grant, Shaka Smart, Will Wade, Mike Rhoades) all left for power-conference jobs after making the NCAA Tournament.
Odom made his name in coaching at UMBC, when in 2018 he guided the Retrievers to the first No. 16 seed-over-No. 1 upset in NCAA Tournament history against Virginia. Odom spent the past two seasons at Utah State, going 44-25. He took the Aggies to this year's NCAA Tournament, earning a No. 10 seed.
Odom is 170-106 in his career. The hire makes sense on two fronts, the first being that Odom was always expected to eventually move back East, where he's been in basketball his entire life, with the exception of his brief stint at Utah State. The second being his specific ties to the greater-Virginia region. Odom played at Virginia-based Hampden-Sydney (a Division III program) in the early-to-mid 1990s, then worked as an assistant at American University and Virginia Tech from 2000-2010. The 48-year-old is 158-100 in his career.