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What is new VCU basketball coach Ryan Odom's coaching philosophy?

Posted at 11:02 AM, Mar 30, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- VCU will formally introduce Ryan Odom as the Rams next head men's basketball coach during a Friday press conference at the VCU Siegel Center.

VCU named Odom, 48, as the program's 13th head coach on Wednesday after it was announced Penn State had hired former head coach Mike Rhoades to lead the Nittany Lions.

"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," VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin said in a statement about hiring Odom. "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."

Odom is the first head coach since Shaka Smart was hired in 2009 to not have a direct tie to the Rams program.

Former head coaches Will Wade (hired in 2015) and Rhoades (hired in 2017) both previously served as assistant coaches under Smart.

While Odom may not have direct VCU ties, he is no stranger to college basketball fans in the Commonwealth.

Odom played college basketball at Hampden-Sydney and later served on various college coaching staffs including Virginia Tech.

Odom made college basketball history as head coach of UMBC when his 16-seed Retrievers defeated the one-seed University of Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Photos: Historic Upset: #1 UVA falls to #16 UMBC

It was the first time in tournament history that a 16-seed defeated a top team.

"It was a bittersweet moment. I grew up in Charlottesville and it was a place that means a lot to my family,"Odom said in a December 2018 interview with CBS 6 sports director Lane Casadonte. "We learned so much from just being around UVA basketball at that time and all the individuals that were fortunate to be there at that time."

Ryan Odom lived in Charlottesville when his father Dave Odom was an assistant coach for the Virginia Cavaliers (1982-1989).

Dave Odom left Charlottesville to become the head coach at Wake Forest (1989-2001) and later at South Carolina (2001 - 2008).

In that same 2018 interview, Ryan Odom said he's leaned on his father's experience to build his own coaching legacy.

"I've got a great father, a great mentor, who's spent the better part of 40-plus years coaching. He was in it for all the right reasons and that was to help kids grow as people. And you know, it's no different for me," he said. "It's not about the great wins or the tough losses. It's about how am I developing and impacting these guys that are under my leadership?"

Odom coached the last two seasons at Utah State where his team earned an overall record of 44-25. The Aggies qualified for the 2023 NCAA Tournament as 10-seed and lost in the opening round to seven-seed Missouri.

"We look forward to continuing the incredible tradition of excellence that VCU Basketball has embodied for many years," Odom said in a statement. "We are humbled with the honor of leading this outstanding program and will fight each day to produce a program our university, alumni and fans can be extremely proud to call their own."

CBS 6 provides Central Virginia with the only local TV sports coverage in town. Depend on Lane Casadonte and Sean Robertson for the most complete local sports coverage.

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