RICHMOND, Va. — Will Wade is leaving VCU to take over LSU after guiding the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in both his seasons as coach.
LSU made the announcement Monday night on its athletics web site and Twitter. It said more details will come Tuesday.
The announcement was attributed to Vice Chancellor and athletic director Joe Alleva, who flew to Richmond on Sunday with deputy AD Eddie Nunez and met with Wade for several hours.
The 34-year-old Wade guided the Rams to a 51-20 record. He spent the two previous seasons at Chattanooga and is 91-45 overall as a head coach.
He replaces Johnny Jones, who was fired March 10 with two years remaining on his contract after the Tigers finished 10-21.
Wade emerged as LSU's top candidate after news broke that a plane with LSU markings departed Baton Rouge early Sunday morning bound for Richmond, Va., and returned at mid-afternoon with athletic director Joe Alleva and deputy AD Eddie Nunez on board.
Alleva and Nunez declined to comment about the quick round trip, but ESPN reported later Sunday, citing unidentified sources, that VCU coach Will Wade "has emerged as one of the front-runners for the job." VCU is located in Richmond.
Also, CBSSports.com reported Sunday evening that LSU, through a third party, has contacted former Indiana coach Tom Crean to gauge his interest in the opening.
Wade, 34, is a Nashville, Tenn., native who was on Vanderbilt's radar a year ago before the Commodores hired Bryce Drew. Wade completed his fourth season as a head coach Thursday night with VCU's 85-77 loss to Saint Mary's in an NCAA tournament first-round game. It was his second NCAA tournament appearance in two seasons at the school.
Before his time at VCU, Wade was the head man at Chattanooga for two seasons. He previously served an assistant for four seasons under Shaka Smart at VCU.
Upon returning to VCU when Smart left in 2015 for Texas, Wade went 25-11 in his first season and earned a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title. VCU defeated Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling in the second round to eventual Final Four participant Oklahoma 85-81.
This season, Wade led his team to a 26-9 mark and a second-place finish behind Dayton in the A-10 regular-season race. Among his victories was an 85-74 win over LSU in the Battle 4 Atlantis in The Bahamas on Nov. 25.
No. 2 seed VCU fell to fourth-seeded Rhode Island in the championship game of its conference tournament last Sunday but was rewarded with an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Wade was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year at Chattanooga in 2014 after leading his team to a second-place regular-season finish as a 31-year-old rookie head coach. That season, Chattanooga earned a spot in the CollegeInsider.com tournament and lost in the first round.
--Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate contributed to this story.