RICHMOND, Va. – Jamal Brunt, who helped engineer success at Richmond and Miami, has joined Mike Rhoades' VCU staff as assistant coach. Brunt fills the vacancy left by the departure of Jeremy Ballard, who was named head coach at Florida International last week.

"We are super excited to have Jamal as a huge part of our VCU family," Rhoades said. "His leadership, coaching and recruiting ability fits perfectly with our culture. He will hit the ground running and make our guys better. Having a former player of mine with his vast experience will move us all forward. I am happy to have Jamal, his wife Erica and daughters, Peyton and Price with us." 

A 15-year coaching veteran, Brunt spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Miami under Jim Larranaga, where he played an integral role in landing a pair of recruiting classes ranked in the top 15 nationally. Miami's 2017 class was rated seventh by ESPN and eighth nationally by Scout. Miami's 2016 recruiting class was ranked ninth nationally by 247Sports, 10th by Scout and 13th by ESPN.

Miami reached the NCAA Tournament in each of Brunt's three seasons on the sidelines, and the Hurricanes advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2015-16. Miami was 70-30 during Blunt's tenure, including 34-20 in ACC play. Miami's 27 wins in 2015-16 ranks second in school history, and that team finished the year ranked 10th in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, as well as eighth in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

By joining VCU, Brunt is reuniting with a longtime mentor in Rhoades. Brunt served as a captain of perhaps Rhoades' best team at Randolph Macon in 2002-03. That squad finished the year 28-2 and reached the NCAA Division III Sweet 16. The Baltimore native later spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Yellow Jackets under Rhoades.

Brunt also helped Richmond reach unprecedented heights. He joined the Spiders as director of operations in 2005, but was elevated to assistant coach in 2007 and, finally, associate head coach in 2013. In 10 seasons in the West End, Brunt helped steer Richmond to six postseason appearances, including a pair of NCAA berths. Richmond's 2010-11 squad captured the Atlantic 10 Conference title and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.