LSU filled its men’s basketball coaching vacancy late Monday when it signed Virginia Commonweath coach Will Wade to a six-year contract. As one would imagine, the hire was received much better by LSU fans than it was by the VCU faithful.
VCU (26-9) lost to St. Mary’s, 85-77, in the first round of the NCAA West Regional in Salt Lake City.
Two days later, according to various reports, LSU made contact with Wade about potentially replacing fired basketball coach Johnny Jones.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva and deputy athletic director Eddie Nunez flew to Richmond, Va., and interviewed Wade on Sunday.
Wade had a 51-20 record in two seasons at VCU. He coached at Chattanooga and had a record of 40-25 in two seasons prior to his stint at VCU.
Some VCU fans were caught off guard and hurt by his decision to leave the university so quickly:
Will Wade said peace , hahaha vcu poor vcu
— fray s (@fightforoleDC) March 21, 2017
Will Wade didn't learn from Shaka, who didn't learn from Grant who didn't learn from Capel…leaving for football schools when you coach ?
— Didier Occident (@DidieratDoak) March 21, 2017
@VCURamNation I've got 3 or 4 Will Wade shirts that I definitely won't wear again ???
— Jebediah Iglesias (@thereeder) March 21, 2017
VCU’s Will Wade headed to LSU, sources told ESPN. Has agreed to a 6-year deal. pic.twitter.com/vA2Nr4TYSH
— I'm her ✨ (@justtjennn) March 21, 2017
But some LSU basketball fans and fans of college basketball thought the Tigers made a great hire.
Wade is considered by some college basketball experts to be one of the rising stars in coaching. He was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2014. He was an assistant coach at VCU under current Texas coach Shaka Smart.
Homerun hire by Alleva getting Will Wade. A YOUNG UP&COMING COACH!!! Wanted Ron Hunter, but I'm totally fine with Wade.Glad it wasn't Kermit
— RJ (@ryc30078) March 21, 2017
Will Wade is our Luke skywalker. THERE IS A NEW HOPE
— Peyton Nelson BayBay (@Pnel319) March 21, 2017
Will Wade a great hire at LSU. Tremendous energy, great recruiter and a better technician than they've had in a long, long time
— Adam Spinella (@Spinella14) March 21, 2017
Now, it is up to Wade to prove why VCU fans are so upset to see him go and why some LSU fans are fired up as he starts his tenure in Baton Rouge.