Florida International will hire VCU’s Jeremy Ballard as its next head coach, according to Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Florida International has hired VCU's Jeremy Ballard as its next head basketball coach, per multiple sources. Official announcement expected soon.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 20, 2018
Ballard served as the Rams’ associate head coach last season and has 12 years of experience as a Division I assistant, including two separate stints at VCU.
He will replace Anthony Evans, who coached the Panthers for five seasons but was never able to lead them to a winning record. Evans went 65-94 overall.
Ballard is just the latest VCU assistant coach to earn a head coaching job. As Rob Dauster from NBC Sports and Pav of both the Siegel Center and The Internet point out, the school has an excellent reputation for churning out head coaches.
With Jeremy Ballard getting the FIU job, Shaka Smart now has six former assistants that are head coaches, the same as Coach K: Ballard, Jamion Christian (Mt. St. Mary's), Mike Jones (Radford), Mike Morrell (UNC Asheville), Mike Rhoades (VCU), Will Wade (LSU). He's 41 years old.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) April 20, 2018
When you add in Tony Pujols, John Brannen and Allen Edwards who were assistants under Anthony Grant, every VCU assistant coach from 2007-2014 is a head coach today.— VCU Papa (@VCUPav) April 20, 2018
Jeff Capel began at VCU as an assistant my freshman year. 10 VCU assistant coaches will have HC gigs next year.
Ballard will inherit a team at FIU comprised mostly of rising juniors and seniors. Assuming no more transfers — Eric Lockett has already announced his intention to leave — the Panthers will have a promising core for Ballard’s first season. The 5’10 Brian Beard Jr. has one year of eligibility remaining and should be one of the under-the-radar top players in Conference USA. He averaged 16.4 points and 5.7 assists per game last year, ranked top 10 nationally in steal percentage, and led CUSA in assist rate.
With the FIU job now filled, only four Division I head coaching vacancies remain. Check out our Coaching Tracker to see all the movement.