Will Wade has officially signed an extension to remain VCU head coach through the 2023-24 season.
After a 25-11 first season at VCU that included a share of this year’s Atlantic 10 regular season title as well as VCU’s sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, one that included a first round win over Oregon State and a near-upset of second-seeded Oklahoma, Wade became a hot target as a potential replacement for coaching vacancies around the country, particularly at Vanderbilt University in Wade’s hometown of Nashville.
“Coach Wade did an excellent job with our program this year and we are excited about our program’s future, “ VCU AD Ed McLaughlin said in an official VCU release. “He and I agreed completely on all of the enhancements that our program needed to continue our elite level of success. While it is flattering whenever a member of your staff is talked about at other institutions, I never worried that Will wouldn’t be our coach. His commitment to VCU is unparalleled and we look forward to him leading our men’s basketball program for a long time.”
Wade returned to VCU this past offseason after two years as a successful head coach at UT Chattanooga where he rejuvenated the Mocs’ program, winning 2014 Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors. He spent four seasons at VCU before taking the Chattanooga job, serving as an assistant under former head coach Shaka Smart, three of those seasons resulting in successful NCAA tournament runs including the Rams historic 2011 Final 4 campaign.
“I am focused on VCU Basketball and the student-athletes within our program. My wife and I love it here at VCU and we are very excited about the 2016-17 season and beyond,” said Wade. “Ed McLaughlin and I continually meet to assess the state of our program to ensure that we are employing the resources necessary to compete at the highest level.
“I want to thank VCU President Dr. Michael Rao, Ed and our incredible fan base for their unyielding commitment to our program. They’ve provided us with a platform for success, and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Wade has gone 65-36 in his three seasons as a head coach and earned a share of this year’s A-10 regular season title after being picked to finish fifth in the conference after the losses of all-time greats, Treveon Graham and Briante Weber.
VCU will lose two players from this year’s team, graduating leading scorer Melvin Johnson and Oral Roberts transfer, Korey Billbury. The Rams however return a number of key pieces and bring in a strong recruiting class that should see the black and gold picked toward the top of the Atlantic 10 conference once again.