Ed McLaughlin: VCU Made Offer to Mike Rhoades, Moved Quickly to Hire Ryan Odom

VCU head coach Mike Rhoades during the Rams' first-round NCAA Tournament matchup with St. Mary's in 2023.
VCU head coach Mike Rhoades during the Rams' first-round NCAA Tournament matchup with St. Mary's in 2023. Photo credit Getty Images

VCU introduced Ryan Odom as the men's basketball program's new head coach on Friday (March 31), beginning a new era of Black and Gold hoops after Mike Rhoades' departure two days prior.

Rhoades left for Penn State, while Odom came in from Utah State, and Vice President & Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin joined Adam Epstein on the Fan after Odom's introductory press conference to detail the program's process.

"I knew [Rhoades' move] was for real probably about the same time everybody else did, to be honest," McLaughlin said. "I saw it on social media, obviously, on Tuesday night. [...] When I talked to [Rhoades] late Wednesday morning, I said 'what's going on here?' and he kind of indicated that there was a meeting at four o'clock. [...] I knew then, I said, 'okay, well, I gotta get things going."

Epstein followed up by asking whether VCU made a counteroffer to Rhoades to combat Penn State.

"We did," McLaughlin said. "We put it in a good counteroffer, but it gets to a point where if someone is going to pay him -- any coach -- a huge amount of money, it's hard for anyone to say no to that. As I said to someone the other day, if I went in and told one of our fans 'we're gonna give you $3.5 million a year for the next seven years, but you have to go root for UVA,' someone would say 'Wahoowa, let's go.' That's just how it is.

"It's life-changing for so many ways, but we put in a counteroffer that I think a lot of coaches in this country -- they would have taken in a heartbeat. But the situation that Penn State is in financially, they were able to do something that was not twice what we could do, but certainly a lot more than we could do."

When that didn't materialize, McLaughlin and company quickly pivoted to the coaching search.

"We had four or five [coaching options] that we looked at," he said. "[...] We've had some quick conversations, but the time that you have to spend is very, very limited, and our guys want to know what their future looks like. We pressed the go button quick, but it wasn't hasty. I can tell you that."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images