STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State Basketball officially announced the hiring of their new basketball head coach, Mike Rhoades on March 30.
Coming over from VCU, Rhoades was introduced by Athletic Director Pat Kraft in front of President Bendapudi, the Legion of Blue, some former and current (!) players and Rhoades family in a press conference in the Bryce Jordan Center Thursday. Rhoades was introduced by Kraft, gave a short speech and then took questions. A common theme was the alignment from President to Athletic Director through the head basketball coach. AD Kraft said from the beginning they were looking for a coach who wanted to be here, a thinly veiled shot at outgoing coach Micah Shrewsberry who left for Notre Dame.
I was able to ask a question for Nittany Central and the Shots Gotta Fall Podcast, that I felt was on the minds of all Nittany Lions basketball fans as the program undertakes its fourth coach in the last 3.5 years. “The level of commitment from our staff is number one,” Rhoades said, on the steps he will take to bring stability to the program. “The greatest thing we can do with these guys is work them hard and love them harder. Make it bigger than just showing up every day, that’s important.” He went on to say how due to the aforementioned alignment between the President, AD and himself that they have a plan and they are building this to last. They will be bold, different and aggressive. Perhaps ‘bold, different and aggressive’ will be the new ‘attitude’ or ‘gritty not pretty’ but either way, the Rhoads era is underway.