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Will Wade

Sources close to the Times Free Press confirmed late Monday evening that University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach Will Wade has accepted a position to become the new coach at Virginia Commonwealth University.

One source said that while no official offer has been made by VCU, the sides have come to an agreement, and details will be finalized Tuesday.

Wade was one of three candidates interviewed for the position, along with Rice coach Mike Rhoades and current VCU assistant Jeremy Ballard.

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Rhoades emerged as the leader over the weekend, and a CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., reported Monday that VCU was set to offer him the job. However, ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported late Monday afternoon that Rhoades had taken his name out of contention, which made Wade the leading candidate for the position.

Wade, who spent four seasons as an assistant at the Atlantic-10 school, compiled a 40-25 record in two years at UTC, including a 27-7 mark in Southern Conference play. He helped lead the Mocs to a 22-10 record in the 2014-15 season.

The VCU job opened up Thursday night when Shaka Smart was hired by Texas. Smart compiled a 163-56 record in six seasons as the Rams' head coach, taking them to five NCAA tournaments, including a Final Four trip in 2011.

Smart was making $1.5 million a year at VCU. Reports surfaced Friday that the Rams had offered him as much as $2.5 million per year to stay, although it's expected the new head coach wouldn't receive nearly that much at first.

The 2014 SoCon coach of the year had been mentioned with openings at UNC Charlotte and Tennessee. He took his name out of consideration at Charlotte despite the potential of making three times his UTC salary of $187,000.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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