Will Wade: 5 things to know about the LSU men's basketball head coach
LSU named Will Wade as head men's basketball coach in March 2017 following the firing of Johnny Jones, who coached the Tigers for five seasons.
Wade arrived in Baton Rouge after two seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to that, he was head coach at Chattanooga for two seasons.
Here is some basic information on the Tigers' head coach:
- Experience: Currently in his third season with LSU
- Age: 37 years old (born Nov. 26, 1982)
- Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
- High school: Franklin Road Academy (Nashville, Tennessee)
Now, here are five more facts about the LSU coach.
Will Wade made LSU history in his first two seasons
After his first two years with LSU, Will Wade became the first Tigers head coach to get LSU to postseason play in each of his first two seasons on the job, according to his LSU profile page.
LSU's record after Wade's first two seasons was 43-18. The Tigers went 18-15 during the 2017-18 season and made it to the second round of the NIT.
LSU went 25-5 the following year as Wade led his team to an SEC Championship and then the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Wade is one of just five LSU head coaches to lead the Tigers to an SEC Championship.
Will Wade's coaching career began at Clemson
Wade's coaching career started at Clemson when he was an undergraduate student manager from 2002-05.
Following graduation, he became a graduate assistant in 2005, and Wade later rose to director of basketball operations.
Wade went on to take his first assistant coaching job at Harvard in 2007. After two seasons there, he became a VCU assistant coach.
He then was head coach of UT-Chattanooga from 2013-15. Wade then went back to VCU for two seasons before becoming LSU's head coach on March 22, 2017.
How old is Will Wade?
Despite having a long coaching career, Wade is one of the youngest NCAA basketball coaches at 37 years old.
He was the 11th-youngest coach in D1 basketball entering the 2018-19 season, according to herosports.com.
Wade was also the youngest head coach in the 2016 NCAA tournament when he was leading the VCU Rams, according to his LSU bio.
His bio states that he "has also proven to be one of the most energetic (coaches) both in practices and games, and his players have responded in kind."
Wade's bio continues to state that his ability to know situations and tendencies through his first two seasons has proven beneficial.
Who are Will Wade's parents?
Will Wade's dad is Frank Wade, and his mother is Margaret "Sissy" Wade.
His mom is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, according to The Advocate.
His dad frequently took him to high school and Vanderbilt games growing up in Nashville.
"I thought it was something Will and I could do together," Frank Wade said to The Advocate. "So when he was in the third or fourth grade, I'd let him pick out a high school game every Friday night and we’d take two of his friends with us,” he said. “That kind of morphed into Vanderbilt games, and we did that through his senior year of high school."
Wade was briefly suspended following FBI wiretap reports
On March 7, 2019, Wade was suspended indefinitely after refusing to meet with school officials following the release of FBI wiretap reports surrounding recruiting irregularities.
"Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly assess and adequately address this situation," a joint statement from LSU President F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva said.
Assistant coach Tony Benford served as interim head coach during Wade's suspension.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade's FBI wiretap: What we know about Yahoo's report
Wade was reinstated on April 14, 2019, after LSU officials determined he did not violate his contract, following a meeting with Wade and NCAA compliance officials.
"During those meetings, he answered all questions and denied any wrongdoing in connection with recently reported allegations of irregularities in college basketball recruiting," said Alleva in a released statement.
Wade also released a statement following his reinstatement.
"I am humbled and grateful to be back at LSU. I would like to express my appreciation to President F. King Alexander and Athletic Director Joe Alleva for my reinstatement, and I sincerely apologize to the university and our fans for the disruption to the University and the program."
Wade also said he regretted the circumstances that kept him from meeting with university officials sooner and wished he could of addressed the issues sooner.
"I completely understand that without my denying or explaining the media reports accusing me of wrongdoing LSU was left with no choice but to suspend me until I was willing and able to meet with them. Any other course of action would have put the program and the University at risk," said Wade in his statement.
Wade added that he was looking forward to joining the team and promised to devote all of his energy into preparing for the next season.
Following the suspension, Wade agreed to forfeit as much as $250,000 in bonus money and acknowledge his contract breach with the university in April 2019.
More on LSU basketball:
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- Emmitt Williams:4 things to know about the LSU basketball forward
- Skylar Mays:4 things to know about the LSU basketball point guard
- Charles Manning Jr.:3 things to know about LSU basketball guard
Here is the link to Will Wade's bio on the LSU website.
Chastity Laskey is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. You can find her on Twitter @ChastityLaskey.