Will Wade, who helped lead VCU to the 2011 Final Four as an assistant, was named the 11th head coach in program history on April 8, 2015. It didn’t take long for him to prove he was the right man to continue VCU’s upward ascent.
Under his tutelage, guard Melvin Johnson earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 and All-District honors in 2015-16, while center Mo Alie-Cox was selected to the league’s All-Defensive and All-Academic teams.
"I am pleased to welcome Coach Wade back home to Virginia Commonwealth University," said VCU President Dr. Michael Rao. "He is the ideal leader for our men's basketball team; even more, he will be an excellent representative for our entire university."
"We knew quickly that Will Wade was the best fit to lead the VCU Men's Basketball program during our exhaustive but rapid national search," said VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin. "Will has an incredible ability to connect with student-athletes and develop them as people. His intelligence, work ethic and knowledge of the game make him a sensational coach, recruiter and ambassador for VCU. We look forward to Will leading us to Atlantic 10 Championships on our way to a national championship."
This is not the first time Wade has been responsible for success at VCU. In four years as an assistant with the Rams under Shaka Smart from 2009-13, VCU was 113-37, reached three NCAA Tournaments and won the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Championship. He was on the sidelines as an assistant in 2011 when VCU shocked the country with five NCAA Tournament victories on the way to the Final Four in Houston.
During his tenure as an assistant with the Rams, Wade also helped recruit and develop NBA talent. Wade, who worked closely with VCU’s post players, saw the Milwaukee Bucks select center Larry Sanders with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. In addition, Wade played a major role in the development of current NBA players Troy Daniels (Charlotte Hornets) and Briante Weber (Miami Heat), who own VCU records for 3-pointers in a single season and career steals, respectively.
Wade was named head coach at Chattanooga prior to the 2013-14 season and quickly improved that program’s fortunes. Wade was 40-25 in two seasons with the Mocs, including 27-7 in the Southern Conference. In the two seasons prior to Wade’s arrival, the Mocs finished a combined 24-40, including 13-23 in the SoCon. He was named 2014 Southern Conference Coach of the Year after guiding Chattanooga to an 18-15 mark in his first season, a five-win improvement over the previous campaign. Wade steered Chattanooga to a 22-10 record in 2014-15, the school's first 20-win season since 2004-05.
Prior to his first stint with the Rams, Wade served as assistant and recruiting coordinator for Tommy Amaker at Harvard, where he helped lay the foundation for the Crimson's resurgence. Wade had a hand in the development of future NBA standout Jeremy Lin and assembled a top-25 recruiting class during his stay. Harvard's 14 victories during the 2008-09 season were the school's most in 13 years.
Wade's passion for coaching started at Clemson while he was a student manager (2002-05). He later became a graduate assistant (2005-06) and director of basketball operations for Oliver Purnell and the Tigers.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Wade is married to the former Lauren Deason.
|WILL WADE - COACHING HISTORY|
|AS AN ASSISTANT COACH|
|2005-06||Clemson||19-13||7-9||NIT 2nd Round|
|2010-11||VCU||28-12||12-6||NCAA Final Four|
|2011-12||VCU||29-7||15-3||CAA Champs; NCAA Round of 32|
|2012-13||VCU||27-9||12-4||NCAA Round of 32|
|Totals||8 Seasons||177-97||73-57||6 Postseason Apperances|
|AS A HEAD COACH|
|2013-14||Chattanooga||18-15||12-4||CIT 1st Round|
|2015-16||VCU||25-11||14-4||A-10 Co-Champs; NCAA Round of 32|
|Totals||3 seasons|| 65-36
||2 Postseason Appearances|