KPLC Exclusive Interview with Will Wade

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It has been a busy week for Will Wade, after it was announced on Sunday that he would be the 12th head coach of the McNeese men’s basketball program, he was introduced on Monday, and then on Tuesday it was revealed that his contract included a five-game suspension for the 2023-24 season, plus a set of recruiting restrictions that prevents him from partaking in select recruiting activities.

On Thursday, KPLC 7 Sports Director Matthew Travis had the opportunity to sit down with Wade to discuss a plethora of topics including his expectations for the Cowboys, his coaching staff, his suspension, recruiting restrictions, and much more.

“I think that’s one of the most important parts with the student section is one identifying the groups of people that we can get to come and then two developing and identifying leaders of that group that can keep people coming, and keep people excited, and keep the juice going,” said Wade on getting fans, and students engaged. “The guys that we put onto the court are going to earn their way onto the court, and I think it’s important that the fans are here so that the players feel like they’re appreciated for all their hard work, so I feel like that’s part of my job to engage the fans, to make sure we show our players that we appreciate how hard they work.”

Wade comes to McNeese after being fired by LSU exactly a year before being named the next McNeese headman, due to numerous Level I and Level II violation allegations during his time with the Tigers. Because of this, it was revealed Tuesday that his contract included a five-game suspension, as well as recruiting restrictions that will prevent him from partaking in off-campus recruiting activities through July 31st, and prevent him from all recruiting activities from September 1st, through October 15th of this year.

“That’s what happens when the attorneys get involved and they talked to all the stakeholders, whether it be attorneys, NCAA reps, school reps, all that kind of stuff, they got together and they looked at what’s kind of happened in some of the other cases where those things have fallen and what might be appropriate for us here at McNeese as we get going here,” said Wade on his suspension. “I certainly agree with what they’ve done, if I didn’t agree I wouldn’t have signed the contract, I think what’s been implemented is a very robust compliance program, and a very stringent set of rules of how we’re going to operate, and certainly being suspended the first five games, but I thought it was done with a lot of research, a lot of consultation between a lot of different folks and I’m certainly in agreement with what they’ve done.”

Wade also discussed the recruiting restrictions saying “Well I think with the transfer portal, we haven’t had a lot of kids visit, I can obviously be active when I’m on campus with the visits and so, will it have an impact? Certainly, it’ll have an impact, that’s just part of it, and sometimes you’ve got to take your medicine on some things, but will it be detrimental, just crippling to the program? I hope not, I don’t think so, that’s why partly having people I’m familiar with, people that I really trust on staff, that’s a huge part of it, and they can run it, and I trust them to recruit and do things the right way when they’re out there.”

For the full interview, to hear Wade talk about his excitement to be in Lake Charles, to further discuss his suspension, his new coaching staff, and much more, click here.

For the most up-to-date updates on McNeese Athletics, and more follow KPLC 7 Sports on Facebook and Twitter, plus 7 Sports Director Matthew Travis.