Jeremy Ballard, VCU’s associate head basketball coach, will take over his own team for the first time.
Florida International University has hired Ballard to be its head coach. In a text message, VCU coach Mike Rhoades said he is excited for Ballard.
“When you work and act like him, people take notice. FIU did,” Rhoades said. “He’s ready for this job and will do great. He is what’s good about college basketball. We will miss him but all of us will be huge Coach Ballard and FIU fans. He is family!”
Rhoades said that he is not sure at this time whether he will promote from within or hire from the outside to fill Ballard’s position.
There are now six former Shaka Smart assistants at VCU who are head coaches: Rhoades, Will Wade (LSU), Mike Jones (Radford), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary’s), Mike Morrell (UNC Asheville) and Ballard.
That matches the number of former Mike Krzyzewski assistants who are head coaches.
FIU announced on April 2 that it would not renew the contract of head coach Anthony Evans after five seasons. Evans, a former coach at Norfolk State, went 65-94.
Ballard was in his second stint with VCU this past season. His main area of emphasis with the Rams was defense.
News of Ballard’s hire was first reported by Jon Rothstein.
Ballard was an assistant at VCU under Smart from 2012-15. He had additional stops as an assistant at Colgate (2004-07), where he played from 1999-03, Tulsa (2007-12), Illinois State (2015-16) and Pitt (2016-17).