BATON ROUGE, La. — Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and at LSU there will be a Will Wade. The 34-year-old Virginia Commonwealth coach has agreed to a six-year contract to become the next LSU men’s basketball coach.
The deal was initially reported by ESPN, then made official by LSU basketball’s Twitter account within the hour.
Sweet dreams Tiger fans. It’s official! pic.twitter.com/jAKrmVoRfG
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) March 21, 2017
The numbers of Wade’s contract at LSU have not yet been released, but he was set to make $1.5 million per year at VCU the next seven years. He also has a $1 million buyout.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva and deputy athletic director Eddie Nunez flew to Richmond, Va., to interview Wade on Sunday morning and apparently sealed the deal to make him the Tigers’ next head coach Monday evening.
Wade took over the VCU program from Shaka Smart and led the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons. The Rams reached the second round last year and were eliminated by No. 7 seed St. Mary’s in the first round of this year’s tournament. He had a 51-20 record at VCU on top of a 40-25 mark in his two seasons at Chattanooga.
Wade started at his alma mater, Clemson, as a graduate assistant and director of basketball operations before landing assistant coaching jobs at Harvard (2007-09) and VCU (2009-13). Wade will be LSU’s first men’s basketball coach under the age of 40 since the Tigers hired 37-year-old Dale Brown in 1972.
LSU fired Johnny Jones after five seasons as the Tigers dipped to 2-16 in SEC play and set a new school record for consecutive losses. LSU has only reached the NCAA Tournament once since 2009.