With the good news of Penn State having ended their coaching search by landing VCU’s Mike Rhoades comes even more good news on top of that, as Lions247 is reporting that Nittany Lion legend Joe Crispin will join Rhoades’ staff in Happy Valley.
We all remember Joe fondly from his time as a player at PSU from 1997 through 2001, where his ball-handling and deadly three-point shooting made him a weapon in the backcourt. Together with his brother and backcourt mate Jon, PSU made their magical run to the Sweet 16 of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Joe went on to briefly play in the NBA with the Lakers and Suns before enjoying a journeyman career overseas with stops in Poland, Italy, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Crispin first made the transitioning into coaching by joining Division III Rowan College (NJ) as an assistant coach in 2014. In 2016, he was promoted to head coach, a position he has held up until now, sporting a 114-54 overall record and a team that plays a fast-paced, high-scoring, three-point shooting happy offense. This is pure speculation on my part, but given how VCU’s offenses under Rhoades weren’t exactly known for shooting a ton of threes, perhaps the hiring of Crispin is an attempt at working more of a perimeter game into the VCU offense. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Joe in the role of offensive coordinator, similar to what Micah Shrewsberry held when he was an assistant at Purdue under Matt Painter.
Regardless, this is tremendous news for the program to have a beloved former player come home to help turn it into a consistent winner.