Ex-LSU coach Will Wade to take over at McNeese State


Former LSU head coach Will Wade will be introduced Monday as the new men’s basketball coach at McNeese State.

He replaces John Aiken, who was fired Wednesday after two seasons and a 22-45 record.

Athletic director Heath Schroyer said Wade faces high expectations with the Southland Conference program.

“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,” Schroyer said in a news release issued by the Lake Charles, La., school. “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.”

McNeese did not announce contract terms on Sunday.

LSU fired Wade exactly one year ago — March 12, 2022 — after five seasons amid NCAA allegations of major recruiting violations.

The university said Wade was fired with cause after he was caught on an FBI wiretap discussing an illegal offer made to a recruit.

With the Tigers, Wade won the Southeastern Conference regular season championship in 2019 and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 and 2021. LSU earned a berth in the 2022 tournament, too, after Wade’s termination.

Wade, 40, compiled a 108-53 record through five seasons in Baton Rouge. He previously coached at VCU (2015-17) and Chattanooga (2013-15) and has a career 199-98 record.

Jim Henderson, the president of the University of Louisiana system, implied in a statement that Wade’s past at LSU was a concern that was addressed with the incoming coach.

“McNeese has thoughtfully considered this decision and has incorporated appropriate contract provisions that clearly establish expectations,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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