Ex-LSU hoops coach Wade joining McNeese State

8 months ago 7

1:09 PM ET

  • Jeff BorzelloESPN Staff Writer


    • Basketball recruiting insider.
    • Joined ESPN in 2014.
    • Graduate of University of Delaware.

Former LSU coach Will Wade will be the next head coach at McNeese State, the school announced on Sunday.

A news conference to introduce Wade is scheduled for Monday.

"I'm so excited to welcome Coach Wade, his wife Lauren and daughter Caroline to Southwest Louisiana and McNeese!" athletic director Heath Schroyer said. "This is a completely different job than it was three years ago. McNeese Basketball is one of the best jobs in the nation in regards to one-bid leagues. We are funded at the top of the league, have the best facility, a passionate fan base and many other built-in advantages. I will not make excuses for why we can't win and win big. Quite frankly, there is no excuse.

"The days of us celebrating making conference tournaments or accepting mediocrity in all of our sports, let alone in basketball, are over."

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

Wade, 40, spent five seasons in Baton Rouge, guiding LSU to three straight NCAA tournament appearances to end his tenure. The Tigers won the SEC regular-season title in 2019 and finished in the top three of 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, where he finished second in the Southern Conference both seasons. Wade began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Clemson, before spending time on coaching staffs at Harvard and VCU .

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 a Level II violation involving Wade. He was also suspended shortly before the 2019 NCAA tournament after reports revealed that a federal wiretap captured him discussing a "strong-ass offer" for a recruit.

According to documents obtained by ESPN in August 2020, the NCAA's enforcement staff received information that Wade "arranged for, offered and/or provided impermissible payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 men's basketball prospective student-athletes, their family members, individuals associated with the prospects and/or nonscholastic coaches in exchange for the prospects' enrollment at LSU."

The case is being adjudicated through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, and LSU and Wade are still awaiting a ruling.

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