Radford University women’s basketball head coach Mike McGuire announced three new additions to the women’s basketball staff on Monday afternoon. Two are assistant coaches, Nikki Newman and Steven Rhodes and the other is an Assistant Director of Operations, Jodeci Houston.
Newman had an illustrious career with James Madison from 2009-14. She played in 147 games with 120 starts and tallied just under 4,000 minutes during her career. Newman was also a two-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year (2012 & 2014) and the Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior. She helped guide the Dukes to three CAA Tournament Championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances all in 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Following her career as a Duke student-athlete, Newman served as the Assistant Director of Operations for the JMU women’s basketball team for the 2014-15 season. As the assistant she aided the Director of Operations with daily tasks such as organization of travel, distribution of money, sending recruit mail-outs, database entries and coordination of practice players.
Most recently Newman worked as the radio color analyst for James Madison women’s hoops since the 2015-16 season. She also helped as the television color analyst for the CAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Newman has been an elementary school teacher and worked numerous camps, including the James Madison Women’s Basketball Camp while playing at JMU.
The Harrisonburg, Va., native received her Master of Arts in Teaching in May 2014 after she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2013, both from James Madison University.
At Radford, Newman will be the scouting coordinator, wing position coach and will assist with recruiting and academics.
“I am so thrilled that Nikki made the decision to join our coaching staff, McGuire said. “Nikki is special. I had the opportunity to coach her in travel ball and have always admired her to approach to everything she does. She is a competitor, hard worker, a winner and is loyal. She had an exceptional playing career at JMU during one of the most successful stretches in their program history. Nikki is going to be a phenomenal role model for our ladies on and off the floor. I’m excited to help her grow as a collegiate coach.”
Steven Rhodes comes to Radford from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator since April 2017. He assisted in leading the team to a 40-19 record through two seasons and a second-place regular season finish during the 2017-18 season – the highest finish in 12 seasons. The Crusaders also made an appearance in the 2019 Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship for the first time in 15 years.
Prior to Belmont Abbey, Rhodes was an assistant coach at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., for the 2016-17 season. He helped lead the team to a 25-8 finish and Region XIX Tournament title for the first time in five seasons. He coordinated team defense that led the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in steals per game with 19.2. Rhodes also led all player development workouts and coordinated all recruiting visits.
Rhodes worked at his alma mater, UNC Wilmington, as a graduate assistant for the women’s hoops team from 2014-16. During his two-year stint he designed camp and recruiting flyers, created highlight videos and assisted with social media. He also developed opposing team scouts, assisted with post player workouts and recruiting, as well as managed and led the scout team during practice. He also worked as the head manager for the Seahawks for two seasons (2012-14).
Rhodes spent time as the Neuse Charter Middle School head coach (2009-12) and the Cleveland PRIDE Basketball travel team head coach (2007-12).
He earned his Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in 2016 and his Bachelor of Arts in Recreation, Sport Leadership and Tourism Management in 2014, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
At Radford, Rhodes will be the recruiting coordinator, post player position coach, handle scouting and assist with academics.
“Steven is someone that I have been following over the past few years and have admired his impact on the programs he has been involved with,” McGuire added. “Steven is a passionate and tireless worker. Everyone I talk too speaks highly about his passion and loyalty in all that he does. He is going to coordinate our recruiting efforts and will be fantastic. More importantly, he is passionate about the growth of our student-athletes on and off the floor. He is bringing some ideas to our program that I am excited about and can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Jodeci Houston has been all around athletics since 2010, when she began as a student athletic trainer for the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team. After two year as a student athletic trainer, she served as Herma’s-Amateur Athletic Union Team assistant coach for the summer of 2013. During her time as the AAU coach she assisted in weekly practices and worked with players on fundamentals. She also served as an assistant basketball coach for the Blacksburg High School girls’ varsity team from 2010-15.
Most recently, Houston served as head coach from Alexandria Hustle Rising Stars, where she conducted daily practices, coached athletes to improve their skills and executed drills and plays.
She has some experience with the business side of athletics as she’s worked many sales and operations jobs; including ticket sales assistant at Radford, operations intern with Virginia Tech Softball and Virginia Amateur Sports.
Houston graduated with a Master of Business Administration from American National University in 2017 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise, Sport and Health Education from Radford University in 2015.
At Radford, Houston will assist Coach McGuire with daily tasks, practice preparation and film breakdown, travel logistics and alumni outreach and management.
“Jodi is a welcomed addition to our coaching staff,” McGuire added. “Jodi is a proud alumna of Radford and is a local product from Blacksburg. She knows our institution and has contacts throughout the New River Valley. Jodi wants to work in college athletics. I look forward to her ideas, initiative, and organization to help us continue to operate at an efficient level.”