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Rhoades, Houston In For The Long Haul

I brought this upon myself, posting a feature about University of Houston athletics director Mack Rhoades in the days leading up to his making another major hire. So allow me to present a much-needed addendum to what we know about Rhoades, based on the Todd Whitting hire.

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To put it simply, every indication is that Rhoades genuinely sees UH as a destination job, not just a stepping stone. This was a legitimate concern given the manner in which Rhoades left Akron for the Coogs. His name had been floated around concerning basically every AD opening before he ended up on Cullen Boulevard, and he wasn't exactly shooting down the rumors. Besides, Rhoades is a relatively young guy, it would be understandable if he wanted to keep climbing the ladder as high as possible before settling in.

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Stability within an athletics department is a rare thing in today's landscape, and five new coaches plus a new AD in the last 13 months makes Houston look like no exception. However, it is becoming clear that Rhoades is genuinely interested in settling things down. Just look at the hires he's made.

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Say what you want about the basketball hires (and I've already said plenty), but both Todd Buchanan and James Dickey really want to be at Houston. Cheryl Cooper would've been a more 'exciting' hire on the women's side, and the same goes for Rodney Terry with regards to the men. You can debate the merits of hiring the most talented coach vs. a better long-term solution with less upside, but at very least the hires make it look like Rhoades himself plans on sticking around.

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Then listen to coach Whitting talk about taking the baseball head coaching job at UH. The guy probably couldn't order a pizza without telling someone how excited he is to be a Cougar again. As a fan, how can you not pull for guys like that?

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.