RICHMOND, Va. – A crucial member of the VCU basketball program was rewarded for his hard work and dedication on Monday.

Mike Rhoades, who enters his third season on the sidelines with the VCU men's basketball program, was promoted the position of Associate Head Coach for this upcoming year, a move announced by Head Coach Shaka Smart on Monday.

"Mike is an invaluable member of our coaching staff and a terrific resource for our student-athletes," Smart said. "His work ethic, knowledge of the game and enthusiasm have contributed significantly to our success."

The Mahanoy City, Pa. native has played an integral role in the Rams' success of the past two years, which culminated in the school's first-ever Final Four appearance this past March.

In his two seasons with the Black & Gold, VCU has compiled 55 wins, the highest total in any two-year stretch in school history. He has been a vital part of the success on the recruiting trail, helping VCU secure the CAA's best recruiting classes each of the past two seasons.

Being a former All-American point guard himself, Rhoades was a mentor to Joey Rodriguez, who posted back-to-back seasons of 200+ assists, a feat that had never been accomplished in school history and only two other times in CAA history.

"I am really appreciative of this new title and continuing to work with Coach Smart, our staff, players and administration," Rhoades said. "The past two seasons have been extremely fun and exciting and I look forward to helping our program continue to move forward on and off the court at VCU. I am very thankful for the great opportunity Shaka and the administration gave me two years ago and again for this new title.  I can't wait to get back on the court with our players this fall."

Prior to VCU, Rhoades spent 10 years at nearby Randolph-Macon, where he helped turn the Yellow Jackets into a Division III powerhouse. He compiled a record of 197-76 with four NCAA Tournament appearances.

As a player, he led Lebanon Valley to the 1994 National Championship, the same year he was named Division III National Player of the Year.