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VCU Announces Kopacsi Returning to The Peppas

In Pep Band News this is a really big deal. Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016 and garnered national attention for the raucous band.

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VCU Athletics made the announcement a couple days ago.

Ryan Kopacsi will return as director of the VCU Pep Band, The Peppas, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin announced Tuesday.

“Ryan and I share the same vision of making our gameday atmosphere the best in the country – college or pro. We have seen the pivotal role that The Peppas play in creating that atmosphere. After many discussions, we both knew the time was right for him to return to VCU and re-energize our talented students in The Peppas and our fans. I know our fans will welcome him home like we have in VCU Athletics,” McLaughlin said.

A native of Varina, Va., Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016, a period in which the boisterous ensemble earned a reputation as one of the best pep bands in the country with energetic performances to a perpetually sold-out Stuart C. Siegel Center, as well as to national audiences.

For those with short memories or unfamiliar the reason for leaving back in 2016 was money aka contract dispute.

CBS6 story from June 20th, 2016

Kopacsi said he came to the decision after failed contract negotiations with VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin.

“Me and the AD have discussed contracts for weeks and cannot agree on vision, trajectory, and time frame. I’m disappointed to say the least in the decision of the administration to sacrifice all of what The Peppas bring to our players, our fans, our university, and our city.

There is no denying that the Peppas are a force to be reckoned with.

Behind the scenes from 2014 when Ryan Kopasci was with the band.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.