It appears Rodrick Rhodes is headed back to Kentucky. 27 SportsFirst has learned that Rhodes has agreed to become the next boy’s basketball coach at Cordia High School.
According to sources, Rhodes and Cordia are finalizing a deal that could be announced as soon as Thursday.
The prevailing wisdom is that Rhodes wants a change of scenery. For the past couple of seasons, Rhodes has been an assistant coach at Texas-Pan American, a school located near the U.S.-Mexican border.
“I felt comfortable with the people at Cordia. I thought it was an opportunity for me and my family to be successful there. It was a good fit for me,” Rhodes told the Harlan Daily Enterprise. “I was able to touch base with (former Kentucky standout) Jeff Shepard and talked to some more good friends in Kentucky, and I thought overall it was a good fit for me.”
Rhodes became a household name during his high school career. Playing for the legendary Bob Hurley at St. Anthony, Rhodes was a three-time Parade All-American, a McDonald’s All-American and was the crown jewel of Rick Pitino’s 1992 recruiting class, that included Tony Delk, Walter McCarty and Jared Prickett.
Rhodes stay at UK was cut short by a season, leaving for Southern Cal during the summer of 1995.
Sources also tell 27 SportsFirst that Rhodes applied for several other coaching vacancies in Kentucky, including Owsley Co. and Harlan. He interviewed for both via Skype and was expecting an offer from the Green Dragons, where he was one of four finalists.
Cordia beat them to the punch and now will have its highest-profile coach in place.
“I like to think outside the box. Coming from New Jersey, no one in their wildest dreams thought that I would go to Kentucky. I have always been someone who thinks outside the box. They have been the least successful school that I was interested in, but I see that as a challenge. It’s not about wins and losses, but about impacting lives,” Rhodes said. “There is no guarantee that we will have success, but we will work hard. I am hoping they take on my mentality and we will be able to win some games together. It was a better fit for me. I thought that’s the place where I can have the most success - not as a guy that wins and looses, but impacting lives.”
The school of 102 serves students in grades 7-12 and is located just minutes from Hazard. The Lions play in the 14th region and finished with a 7-16 record last season.
When the school introduces Rhodes as its next basketball coach, 27 SportsFirst will have all the video and details.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.