College basketball: LSU names Will Wade its new head coach
BATON ROUGE, La. — Will Wade, who guided Virginia Commonwealth University to 51 wins and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament over the past two seasons, has been named the head men's basketball coach at LSU, vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva announced late Monday.
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Wade comes to LSU after serving two years at VCU following two seasons as head coach at Chattanooga. He brings an overall record of 91-45 to LSU in his four seasons as a head coach.
"Will Wade is a smart, energetic, and skilled individual," Alleva said. "He will provide great leadership for our student-athletes. The future of the program is bright."
Wade compiled a 51-20 record in his two years as VCU's head coach leading the team to its first Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championship and a pair of appearances in the NCAA Tournament. As the No. 10 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Wade led the Rams to a 75-67 win over seventh-seeded Oregon State in the first round.
Sweet dreams Tiger fans. It’s official! pic.twitter.com/jAKrmVoRfG— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) March 21, 2017
"My many years at VCU were some of the best years of my life and I will never forget the opportunities that university afforded me," Wade said. "But the chance to build on the tradition and talent at a place like LSU was an opportunity I have been working for my entire career."
Wade brings a high-intensity, fast-paced, ball-hawking identity to his programs as he strives to achieve excellence in the student-athlete experience both on and off the court. On the VCU practice gym wall is a slogan that one writer said perfectly describes his coaching philosophy: “Chance Favors The Aggressor.”
Before becoming head coach at VCU, Wade was head coach at Chattanooga for two seasons where he went 40-25. Wade earned Southern Conference Coach of the Year Honors in 2014 after leading the Mocs to a 22-10 overall mark and a second-place finish in the league. The 22 wins for Chattanooga were the most at the school since 1996-97 when the Mocs won 24 games.
In his first year as a head coach in 2013-14, Wade directed Chattanooga to an 18-15 overall record and a second-place finish in the Southern Conference.
Prior to his first head coaching job at Chattanooga, Wade served as an assistant at VCU for four years, a span that saw the Rams post a 113-37 mark and reach the NCAA Tournament three times. Wade helped the Rams claim the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Championship and he was on the sidelines when VCU won five NCAA Tournament games on its way to reaching the Final Four in 2011.
He began his career at Clemson as a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations in 2005-06 and he followed that with two seasons under Tommy Amaker at Harvard.
Wade will be formally introduced to LSU students, fans and media Wednesday on the LSU campus. Details about Wade's introduction to the Baton Rouge community will be announced on Tuesday.