VCU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Will Wade has agreed to an eight-year contract with the Rams, according to Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin.
Wade’s new contract comes a day after McLaughlin told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he was hoping to finalize enhancements for the Rams head coach “in the next day or so,” amid rumors of Vanderbilt University having interest in Wade, after their head coach agreed to a deal with the University of Pittsburgh.
“You certainly expect it, it’s a good thing when other want the people that you have, it means that you’re doing a good job,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t know if it gets easier when you wake up each morning and you see people talking about your head coach being other places but I also knew Will wouldn’t go anywhere. I know how happy he is here.”
McLaughlin did not give details regarding the salary included in the contract, but confirmed the deal is for eight years and will last through the 2023-24 season.
“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,” McLaughlin said. “His commitment to VCU is unparalleled and we look forward to him leading our men’s basketball program for a long time.”
McLaughlin said he never received contact from any team and that Wade had not alerted him of any contact from other teams either.
Wade guided the Rams to a 25-11 record in his first season, which included donning the co-champion title of the Atlantic-10 regular season, a run in the A-10 conference tournament final and a win over Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. McLaughlin described Wade’s first season with the Rams as “beyond a smashing success.”
“We lost our head coach, we graduated three student-athletes — two of whom were probably two of the best 10 players we’ve ever had here, we had a student-athlete transfer and we lost all three incoming recruits,” McLaughlin said. “For us to be able to put our season together and grow during the season like we did, I think he did a tremendous job. He probably undersells it a little bit.”
Wade replaced Shaka Smart as the Rams head coach after spending two seasons at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he was named the Big South Conference Coach of the Year in 2015. Prior to his stint at Chattanooga, Wade was an assistant coach at VCU under Smart for four years, including the 2011 season which included a run to the final four in the NCAA Tournament.
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