Will Wade is back in men's college basketball.
The former LSU head coach once infamously heard on a federal wiretap discussing a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit was announced Sunday as the new head coach at McNeese State.
Wade was fired for cause by LSU last year after the university received a notice of allegations from the NCAA. The NOA included five Level I violations and one Level II violation.
In August 2020, Yahoo Sports reported that the NCAA had 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."
Additionally, LSU suspended Wade in 2019 after Yahoo Sports reported that the coach was heard on an FBI wiretap openly discussing a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit. The suspension came right before the NCAA tournament. LSU lifted the suspension a month later and Wade continued coaching the Tigers for three more seasons.
Despite all of that, not to mention a lingering NCAA infractions case involving Wade, McNeese State is bringing him in to lead the program.
"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 has nine seasons of experience as a head coach — two at Chattanooga, two at VCU and then five at LSU. He led VCU to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and won an Atlantic 10 title in 2016. At LSU, Wade’s teams reached three NCAA tournaments and won the SEC regular-season title in 2019.
Overall, the 40-year-old Wade has a 196-96 record as a Division I head coach.
McNeese State fired head coach John Aiken on Wednesday after just two seasons. Aiken had a 22-45 record. McNeese, which competes in the Southland Conference, finished the season 11-23 overall with a 6-12 mark in conference play.