Will Wade celebrates a 2022 win over Alabama. Mar 5, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Will Wade reacts to defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in overtime at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

On March 12, 2022, the LSU Tigers fired men’s basketball head coach Will Wade for cause. That was the latest act in a long-running drama involving Wade and FBI and NCAA investigations, including 2017 comments Wade made to middleman Christian Dawkins (who was wearing a wire) about a “strong-ass offer” and the “piece of the pie” for recruit Javonte Smart.

Wade (seen above celebrating a March 5, 2022 win over Alabama) was suspended for a month by LSU in 2019 around Yahoo Sports’ reporting on his comments to Dawkins. He was then brought back, albeit with some reported changes to his contract. Wade then continued to coach the Tigers until the NCAA issued a formal notice of allegations to LSU in early March last year, leading to the school firing him (and assistant Bill Armstrong) for cause and naming Kevin Nickelberry as interim coach (he’d coach them in the one NCAA Tournament game they played, a loss to the Iowa State Cyclones).

Now, a year to the day after his firing at LSU, Wade has found his next Division I job. And it’s also in Louisiana, with the McNeese Cowboys (from McNeese State, in Lake Charles, LA) of the Southland Conference. Wade’s candidacy there had been widely reported, and the school made his hire official Sunday:

Here’s more on the move from that release:

McNeese has named former LSU head coach Will Wade as its next men’s basketball coach, Director of Athletics Heath Schroyer announced Sunday evening.

…Wade replaces John Aiken who was let go last Wednesday after two seasons as head coach with the Cowboys and compiling a 22-45 overall record.

Said Schroyer: “I’m so excited to welcome Coach Wade, his wife Lauren and daughter Caroline to Southwest Louisiana and McNeese!

“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’s past head coaching record is 196–96 overall, including time at Chattanooga (2013-15, 40-25), VCU (2015-17, 51-20), and LSU (2017-22, 105-51). We’ll see what he can do with the Cowboys.

[McNeese State; photo from Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.