Will Wade has hired former LSU men’s hoops coach at McNeese State

Jeff BorzelloESPN staff writer2 minutes to read

The school announced Sunday that former LSU coach Will Wade will be the next head coach at McNeese State.

A press conference to introduce Wade is scheduled for Monday.

“I am so excited to welcome Coach Wade, his wife Lorraine, and his daughter Carolyn to Southwest Louisiana and McNeese!” said athletic director Heath Schroer. “This is a very different job than it was three years ago. McNeese Basketball is one of the best jobs in the country in terms of single-view leagues. We’re top-of-the-line financiers, have the best facility, passionate fan base and many other built-in benefits. I won’t make excuses.” About our inability to win and win big. Quite frankly, there is no excuse.

“Gone are the days of celebrating conference championships or accepting mediocrity in all of our sports, let alone basketball.”

Sources told ESPN that Wade was eager to return to coaching, and McNeese State had been laying the groundwork to hire Wade for weeks.

Wade, 40, spent five seasons in Baton Rouge, leading LSU to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances to finish his tenure. The Tigers won the SEC regular season title in 2019 and have finished in the top three in the league three times.

Prior to taking over at LSU, Wade spent two seasons as the head coach at VCU, going to the NCAA Tournament both years, and two seasons at Chattanooga, finishing second in the Southern Conference both seasons. Wade began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Clemson before spending time coaching staff at Harvard and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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LSU fired Wade on the eve of the NCAA tournament just over a year ago after the school received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA detailing five Level I violations and one Level II violation involving Wade. He was also suspended shortly before the 2019 NCAA Tournament after reports revealed that federal wiretapping had caught him discussing an “aggressive offer” to recruit.

According to documents obtained by ESPN in August 2020, NCAA law enforcement officials received information that Wade “arranged, made, and/or provided improper payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 students and prospective athletes.” men’s basketball and their family and members associated with out-of-school prospects and/or coaches in exchange for prospects enrolling at LSU.”

The case is being adjudicated through the independent impeachment resolution process, and LSU and Wade are still awaiting ruling.

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