LSU announced late Monday night that it has hired Virginia Commonwealth coach Will Wade as its new basketball coach, replacing Johnny Jones.
Wade, 34, led VCU to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where the 10th-seeded Rams (26-9) lost to No. 7 St. Mary’s, 85-77, in the West Region in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Here are five things to know about Wade, who led VCU to the Big Dance in each of his two seasons leading the program:
1. Wade was an assistant at Clemson, Harvard and VCU
Wade got his start in coaching at his alma mater, Clemson, as a graduate assistant and then director of basketball operations under Oliver Purnell from 2005-07. His first job as a bench assistant was at Harvard under Tommy Amaker from 2007-09. From there he moved on to VCU, where he served as Shaka Smart’s top assistant from 2009-12.
2. Wade’s first head coaching job was at Chattanooga
He led the team to an 18-15 record in his first season in 2013-14. Chattanooga went 22-10 the following year before Wade was hired by VCU. The bulk of that team reached the NCAA Tournament the following year.
3. Wade was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2014
It was the Mocs’ first finish above .500 in five years.
4. Wade is a native of Nashville, Tenn.
He went out of state to attend Clemson and worked his way up the ladder by serving as a student manager for the basketball team for four years before Purnell named him a graduate assistant, then director of basketball operations.
5. Wade has developed NBA talent at a mid-major level
Jeremy Lin, the first player from Harvard to reach the NBA since 1954, was developed in part by Wade from his freshman-junior seasons.
Wade also had a hand in the development of VCU stars Larry Sanders, Briante Weber and Troy Daniels, each of whom went on to careers in the pros.