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LSU hires VCU’s Will Wade as head men’s basketball coach

Head coach Will Wade instructs his team. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. – Late Monday night, LSU announced it has hired former Virginia Commonwealth University head basketball coach Will Wade as its new head coach.

Wade, who went 51-and-20 in two seasons as Rams bench boss, took over for Shaka Smart when Smart left VCU for the University of Texas in 2015. Wade worked as an assistant for Smart from 2009-2013. Following the 2012-13 season, Wade left Richmond to take the head coaching job at Chattanooga where he went 40-25 in two seasons.

VCU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin confirmed this morning that Will Wade would not be returning as head men’s basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University and that he had accepted the same position at Louisiana State University.

“I always meet with coaches after the season to determine the best ways to build their programs and put our student-athletes in the best position to reach their potential, VCU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said in a statement. “Will and I agreed on the necessary next steps, and we met all of Will’s requests. He ultimately decided he would rather coach elsewhere.

Head coach Will Wade speaks to his team during a time-out. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

The Rams have reached the NCAA tournament seven straight years. The past four VCU head coaches have all left for more high-profile jobs. Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Anthony Grant (Alabama), Smart (Texas) and Wade (LSU).

Wade, who will turn 35 in November, is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from, and later worked at, Clemson.