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Following LSU’s loss to Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday, LSU and head coach Will Wade have officially parted ways on Saturday.
In addition, multiple reports from Saturday show that Will Wade was fired from LSU with cause. LSU’s decision came to fruition after a notice of allegations that were received describing numerous violations.
Wade now becomes the third SEC head coach to be fired this season after Georgia parted ways with Tom Crean and Missouri moved in a different direction from Cuonzo Martin.
During his five-year tenure with LSU, Wade finished with an overall record of 108-53. In addition to that, Wade led the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament twice in 2018/2019 and 2020/2021. However, since joining the Tigers’ staff in 2017, Wade’s tenure in Baton Rouge has been surrounded by investigations.
The most infamous moment during Wade’s investigation came in 2019 when an FBI wire-tap caught him on tape talking about a “strong-ass offer” to recruits. Following that incident, Wade was suspended from the conference tournament and NCAA tournament, even after winning the SEC regular-season schedule that year.
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According to ESPN, “Wade is [currently] accused of five Level I violations and one Level II violation. Associate men’s basketball head coach Bill Armstrong is accused of one Level I violation and one Level II violation.”
“We can no longer subject our University, Department of Athletics, and- most importantly -our student-athletes, to this taxing and already-lengthy process without taking action,” LSU said in a statement on Saturday. “Our responsibility to protect and promote the integrity and well-being of our entire institution and our student-athletes will always be paramount.”
During his time at LSU, Wade and the Tigers took down Tennessee in four of their six meetings. The Vols’ only wins against Wade’s Tigers during that stretch came in January of 2018 and January of 2022. However, Tennessee’s second win that came this season was a huge puzzle piece in building an undefeated record-season record in Knoxville and putting the Vols’ basketball team in their current position.
Of the three SEC coaches that have been let go of so far, Will Wade did boast the best winning percentage at LSU at .671 percent. In addition, former Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin was behind him at .503 percent, with Tom Crean closing down the list at .385 percent.
According to ESPN, LSU assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry will take over as the Tigers’ interim coach for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, which the Tigers are slotted to make.