Congratulations to Coach Will Wade and the McNeese State University (MSU) Men's Basketball Team! We are so very proud of you all. The Cowboys had a history-making year. They finished 30-3 and won the Southland Conference regular-season and tournament titles. As ESPN reported, the MSU Cowboys qualified for the Big Dance for the first time since 2002!

Unfortunately, our Cowboys' season is officially over. They lost to Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 86-65. Hey, it happens. They played hard and represented Southwest Louisiana well. Shouts out to Coach and the team for a job well done!

On Wednesday, March 20, the Cowboys' new head coach sat down with ESPN's Josh Weinfuss for a candid conversation about how his career has gone full circle. Life has its ups and downs, and today, Coach Wade is working on getting to the other side of tough times. Winning a season like he shared with the Cowboys makes it all worth it.

The former LSU head coach started his 2023 season at McNeese with a 10-game suspension. As a result of being cited for violating NCAA rules on illegal player payments. Talking openly with Weinfuss about the federal investigation that led to the end of his career with the Tiger's Men's Basketball Team, he insisted life has also been difficult for the players involved, saying,

"Everything that some of these people got their lives ruined for, it's standard operating procedure today." He continued. "It's just extremely disappointing. I wish the NCAA would step in and say, 'Look, we need to let these other folks back in.'


We need to get rid of some of these punishments that they had." Coach Wade added. "They've been punished. I promise you. They've been punished enough."


Notre Dame v LSU
Getty Images

At Louisiana State University, Coach Wade led his Tigers to the SEC Tournament Championship game in Nashville and an 8-seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Just ahead of the tourney in 2022, LSU fired him for his role in the NCAA violation.

Last year, debuted as the new Head Coach of the McNeese Men's Basketball Team on Dec. 13. The Cowboys were already off to a winning start at 8-2. His official introduction to Cowboy family, friends, fans, and the community was on March 13, 2023, at the Legacy Center.

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Salt Lake City
Getty Images

Below are 10 Interesting Facts about Coach Wade that you probably didn't know:

1.)He became the first Tigers head coach to get LSU to postseason play in each of his first two seasons on the job.

2.) In 2016 he was the youngest head coach at the NCAA Tournament (VCU) and in 2018 he became the 11th-youngest coach in D1 basketball history(LSU).

3.) Favorite music group is Earth, Wind, & Fire.

4.) Other than basketball, his favorite sport is football.

5.) Coached at Clemson University as Graduate Assistant (2005–06) and Director of Basketball Operations (2006–07). Harvard University (2007-2009), VCU (2009-2013), Chattanooga (2013–2015), VCU (2015–2017), and LSU (2017–2022).

6.) Was Director for Clemson University's Oliver Purnell Team Camps and served as a coach/counselor at various other summer basketball camps
from 2001-2004, including Tennessee Tech, Stanford, UCLA, Florida, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

7.) His grand plan was to be a college basketball coach and teach history.

8.) Favorite pro athlete is former NBA star Dan Majerle, better known as Thunder Dan.

9.) A nine-year head coaching record of 196-96 overall.

10.) He was not a good basketball player. In high school, he played JV.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman