McNeese State is hiring Will Wade as its next head coach just one year after the former LSU coach was fired for cause amid allegations of NCAA rules violations, sources confirmed to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander. The IARP has not delivered a final ruling on LSU basketball's case which led to Wade's dismissal, which includes five alleged Level I violations that have hindered Wade from consideration for bigger jobs.
"I'm so excited to welcome Coach Wade, his wife Lauren and daughter Caroline to Southwest Louisiana and McNeese!" McNeese State athletic director Heath Schroyer said in a statement.
"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."
LSU received its notice of allegations from the NCAA last March alleging that Wade committed multiple rules violations during his five-year tenure. The school subsequently fired him just before the Tigers went to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed last season. The notice of allegations detailed how Wade allegedly offered financial inducements to secure commitments from players and alleged that "Wade's conduct was deliberate and committed after substantial planning."
Wade, 40, went 105-51 in five seasons at LSU and is 196-96 overall in nine seasons as a Division I head coach after working previously at Chattanooga and VCU for two seasons each.
McNeese State fired coach John Aiken this week after he posted a 22-45 record over two seasons in the role. The program's last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2002, and the last time the Cowboys finished above .500 in a season was 2010-11.
While there is inherent risk in hiring a coach who could still face punishment through the IARP process, the uspide is clear for McNeese State. Wade quickly turned around Chattanooga's program during his tenure there and is a well-known name who will generate interest in a long-dormant program.