University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics director David Blackburn announced this morning that the next men's basketball coach will be former Virginia Commonwealth assistant Will Wade.
"After an extensive search, Will Wade distanced himself from a strong group of candidates as the clear choice to lead our men's basketball program," Blackburn said in a release. "He has been a major piece of VCU's success over the last four years and we feel he will bring our program back to a championship level."
Finalists Dennis Felton and John Brannen were called earlier in the morning and told they would not get the job, according to sources.
Wade has been an assistant for Shaka Smart at VCU for the last four seasons and has been called the architect of the Rams' "Havoc" defense.
"I could not be more excited about the opportunity to lead the Chattanooga basketball program," Wade said the release. "We will build a program the student-athletes, alumni and fans all take great pride in. We will employ a fast-paced pressing style of play similar to VCU. I cannot wait to get to work."
Wade grew up in Nashville, graduated from Clemson in 2005 and coached at Harvard for two years before joining Smart's staff.
"UTC is hiring an absolute star in Will Wade," Smart said in the release. "Will is extremely bright, hard-working and diligent. No one will spend more time building relationships with student-athletes than Will. There is no question in my mind that he will be a tremendous success."
See Tuesday's Times Free Press for more coverage. Follow David Uchiyama on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.