BREAKING: Wade remaining Cowboy coach

Published 8:52 am Monday, April 8, 2024

After a wild weekend of rumors, speculation, gossip, and Twitter jabber, Will Wade is still the head coach of the Cowboys.

That’s a fact that was never in doubt, either.

Despite reports and a slew of internet chatter, Wade never left Lake Charles over the weekend, never interviewed for another job and never even took a call.

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He spent the last few days continuing to build the McNeese State roster in preparation for his second season with the Cowboys.

“I’ve told everyone a million times that I am coming back to McNeese,” Wade said last week before all the fresh rumors started.

“Ya’ll just don’t believe me for some reason. I don’t know why. I am coming back to McNeese next season.”

Wade reiterated that point Monday morning, telling the American Press he was looking forward to building a Top 30.

That began last week when he got a commitment from 6-foo-9 forward Joe Charles to transfer from Louisiana-Lafayette. He also stated last week the key members of last year’s NCAA Tournament team — which went 30-4 — would likely be back, as well.

Wade also helped McNeese raise a record in NIL commitment money just last month as he hopes to win an NCAA Tournament game next spring, which would be the first such victory in program history.

All rumors of him heading to Arkansas ended late Sunday evening when in a stunning move John Calipari finalized a deal to leave Kentucky and become Razorbacks top Hog.

Wade’s name became linked to the Arkansas job Friday night after both Chris Beard (Ole Miss) and Jerome Tang (Kansas State) turned it down to stay at their current schools. Both left Arkansas at the alter after they seemed destined for the school in Fayetteville. The Razorback position opened last week when Eric Musselman bolted to return to his home state of California, accepting the USC job.

That set off a firestorm of rumors as Twitter journalists from all over Arkansas began the hunt for Musselman’s replacement. Throughout the weekend, Wade said he would not comment on rumors or speculation, only to say he was working hard for McNeese.

“There is no reason for me to hurry,” Wade has told the American Press in the past. “I want to get it right. I could stay here three, four years and be very happy. I just love to coach.”

Last season Wade led the Cowboys to one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball history, winning 19 more games than the year before, tying the NCAA record.

He also guided McNeese to both regular season and tournament championships. That sent the Cowboys to their first NCAA Tournament in 22 years and just third overall.

The Cowboys lost to Gonzaga in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Salt Lake City just over two weeks ago.

Wade came to McNeese to rebuild a basketball program that had struggled for decades and reboot his own career. He sat out the 2022-23 season after he was fired at LSU as part of a recruiting scandal that also led to a 10-game NCAA suspension at the start of this season.

With his top two assistants leading the way, McNeese started the season 8-2. The Cowboys would go on winning streaks of 14 and 11 games during the season, winning 25 of 26 during one stretch.

They lost just once between Thanksgiving and the NCAA Tournament, that being a one-point decision at Southeastern, as McNeese went 17-1 while breezing to the SLC title.

Along the way the Cowboys played in front of 11 sellouts, setting records in attendance and sponsorships. He and his players made going to McNeese games in the Legacy Center an event and captured the hearts of Cowboy fans.

Originally signed to a 5-year deal, Wade inked a new contract from McNeese in early February for a record $700,000 per year plus incentives.

The deal also includes a buyout of $1.25 million if he leaves before Aug. 31 of this year and $1 million should he leave McNeese before Aug. 31 of 2025. It then falls to $500,000 after the third year.