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UPDATE: VCU responds to pep band leader’s announcement

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The enthusiastic leader of VCU’s pep band “The Peppas” announced he was leaving his job. Ryan Kopacsi has led VCU’s nationally-known pep band for 15 seasons.

“Today I step away from the band which has been revered and adored by many. Its impact on the community, the school, the lives of people who are in it, and mine are not measurable,” Kopacsi posted on his Facebook page. “The amount of media attention and press brought to the university in which I love was never even imagined. While I am certain it will be fine with out me, there will be sadness in me for awhile.”

Kopacsi did not provide a reason why he decided to leave VCU.

“The VCU Athletics Department learned last night via Facebook that Ryan Kopacsi has decided to retire from serving as director of The Peppas,” VCU Athletics said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “However, VCU Athletics has not received a formal letter of resignation from Ryan and continues contract discussions with him, working through the University process before a final decision is made. We take all contract negotiations seriously and honor their confidentiality until a final agreement is reached.”

As the VCU basketball team’s national profile rose with NCAA tournament appearances and a 2011 run to the Final Four, so did Kopacsi’s. His over-the-top and high-energy performances made it difficult for television announcers to ignore the impact VCU’s pep band seemed to have on the Rams and their opponents.

Rams fans don’t seem to want to let Kopacsi go. Some created a Facebook page entitled Keep Ryan at VCU. VCU students, alumni and Rams fans are posting their thoughts to the page.