Blue White Illustrated

May 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 39 of 67

4 0 M A Y 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M P atrick Kraft had a set of qualities he believed to be paramount when he began looking for Penn State's next men's basketball coach. The person needed to be confident, but with an underdog's tenacity. He needed to be competitive. He needed to think of Penn State as a special place and had to have a grinding work ethic. And he had to be prepared to confront obstacles with aggressiveness. In Mike Rhoades, the Nittany Lions be- lieve they have that man. A sitting head coach at a traditionally successful basketball school, Rhoades was plucked from Virginia Common- wealth exactly one week after Micah Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame. He was announced as the Nittany Lions' choice on March 29, and the next afternoon he was formally introduced as the 15th head coach in the program's history. Kraft said that through the interview process, Rhoades quickly demonstrated the ethos he'd been seeking. "When we had the opportunity to sit down with him, his passion for the game, his excitement for Penn State and Penn State basketball, and his love for his play- ers blew us away," Kraft said. "The group that was with me, we were all like, 'We've got to go get him now. We loved him from the start, and we wanted to run through a wall for him. He's a win- ner, hard stop." Penn State is counting on it. And Rhoades has an extensive resume docu- menting his capabilities. The Mahanoy City, Pa., native just RHOADES AND BRIDGES Penn State turns to former VCU coach Mike Rhoades to help it find a route to the future N A T E B A U E R | N A T E . B A U E R @ O N 3 . C O M

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