CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP/WRCB) — New Chattanooga coach Will Wade believes he can succeed at his new job by utilizing the same pressure defense that worked so well at his last stop.
Wade, an assistant on Shaka Smart's staff at VCU the last four years, was formally introduced Tuesday as Chattanooga's new head coach. Wade replaces John Shulman, who was fired last month.
"You teach what you know," Wade said. "I know the press, and I believe the pressing style is a great equalizer. Very few teams play it, and it is very difficult to prepare for, especially on a short rest. I think it is an unbelievable equalizer in the game of college basketball because you don't see it that often."
Wade believes every successful mid-major program has a brand, like Butler's gritty play and sharp shooting and VCU's "havoc" pressure.
And he has a vision for the future at UTC, making use of the school's "Power C" logo as the first letter in his brand: Chaos.
"When you think Chattanooga, you're going to think chaos," Wade said. "We're going to be a blue-collar, hard-working team that pushes the ball and shoots the three, and we're going to be all over you defensively. We're going to defend 94-feet, every floorboard on that court.
"Chaos will be our brand to become one of the premier teams in the Southern Conference."
Wade, 30, helped implement VCU's "havoc" style that helped the Rams make four straight postseason appearances, including three consecutive NCAA tournament trips and the 2011 Final Four.
VCU went 27-9 this season and reached the round of 32 at the NCAA tournament. The Rams are one of only five programs to win 27 or more games each of the past four seasons along with Duke, Kansas, Syracuse and Ohio State. VCU led the nation in steals each of the past two years.
"We will practice at that pace, and the other team doesn't practice at that pace. We are going to be more comfortable at that pace than the other team. I think it gives us a tremendous advantage over everyone," Wade said.
The Nashville native said he savors the opportunity to return to his home state. He even discussed his desire for the Chattanooga job with Smart two years ago.
"He brought me into his office and told me that he knew my goal was to be a head coach," Wade said. "He asked me to give him a list of three or four colleges that were somewhat realistic that I would love to be at and No. 1 on my list was Chattanooga.
"There's nowhere else I would rather be."
Wade also announced his first major decision as head coach Tuesday, retaining interim coach and former UTC player Casey Long as an assistant.
Can't find what you're looking for?