HAVOC Haven: The State of VCU Athletics

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — HAVOC Haven had a chance to sit down with VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin recently and he answered a multitude of burning questions we had. Similar to our interview with basketball coach Will Wade, McLaughlin was very candid and optimistic about what the future holds for all VCU athletic squads. According to the athletic director, in the classroom, VCU’s student athletes have maintained a 3.0 GPA for the past two semesters collectively.

HAVOC Haven: What is VCU Athletics State of the Union?

Ed McLaughlin: Things are good. We are in great shape. We are two and a half years into our five-year strategic plan and 70 percent of it has been accomplished. I’m happy where things are on the field and in the classroom. We’ve done a good job growing our culture.

We are exceeding our fundraising and community service goals as well.

HAVOC Haven: Who is the ideal student-athlete recruit?

McLaughlin: We are going to recruit men and women who work hard, are not self-entitled, are willing to listen and develop, and trust the process. In the end, they will be making good choices, listening, and working extremely hard — the winning (academically, socially, and growth) takes care of itself. It works and they believe in us because we have their best interests in mind.

We have a million ways that we quantify winning — meaning our core values:

  • Drive to excel
  • Student-athlete focus
  • Commitment to community
  • Loyalty and positivity
  • Equity and diversity
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration

The hope is that they have all eight values when they leave.

HAVOC Haven: What attracts coaches to come to VCU?

McLaughlin: VCU is a place where you don’t have to compromise. We do everything we can to make people happy while working here. We can win — we have five conference championships this year. Also, we can win the right way.

Richmond is a really great place to live — there’s a lot to do here.

HAVOC Haven: How would you rate Will Wade’s first season?

McLaughlin: Incredible and terrific. He really did an incredible job. We were in a transition period at this point last year — the process played itself out.

HAVOC Haven: What are your thoughts on Wade’s demeanor?

McLaughlin: I had to be there in public with him at first — our fans weren’t used to Coach Wade’s blunt feedback.

HAVOC Haven: Will we ever see a football at VCU?

McLaughlin: No to football. The cost would be around $160 million. We have enough to do with the sports we have.

HAVOC Haven: How about men’s lacrosse?

McLaughlin: Not in our plans.

HAVOC Haven: What sport is currently under the radar?

McLaughlin: Men’s golf — they have won two A-10 titles and are going for a third. The team is lead by senior Adam Ball, who is the student-athlete most under the radar. Women’s basketball took terrific steps this year. They were a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament and return a bunch of talent next year. We excited about women’s lacrosse. Woman’s tennis has and will continue to be strong. And watch out for

And watch out for woman’s soccer — seven of the team’s 15 freshman were starters this past season, along with two sophomores.

HAVOC Haven: What are some of the needs?

McLaughlin: Practice facilities for soccer and lacrosse, an indoor track, and indoor tennis courts.

HAVOC Haven: What are your thought about coaches who have left?

McLaughlin: If folks want to leave, I wish them all the best. Everyone who has left has left the program in better shape than when they got here.

Watch: Ed McLaughlin’s special message to VCU fans.

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