University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach Will Wade is receiving a $10,000 raise to $187,000 annually and a one-year extension through the 2018-19 season.
Wade's Mocs went 18-15 overall and 12-4 in Southern Conference play this past winter, and he was a guest Tuesday on "Press Row" on ESPN Chattanooga's 105.1 The Zone.
Q: What was your reaction to the contract adjustments, and did you feel they were appropriate?
A: "Any time your athletic director comes to you and initiates discussions on something like that, I think it's a positive thing. I'm appreciative, but it's not something I spent a whole lot of time worrying about or thinking about. I'm just trying to do my job, and our staff is trying to do their jobs the best they can every day.
"I'm excited to be here, and I'm excited about this next year. We're already hard at work."
Q: You were recently listed by ESPN's Jeff Goodman and Jay Bilas as the No. 4 up-and-coming coach nationally among those under 40 years old. What was your reaction to making a list that has such national exposure?
A: "Certainly that's good publicity for our team and our program. I'm not into the individual stuff much, because we have a lot of moving parts that make this thing happen. My staff is tremendous, and I'm very fortunate to have kept it together, because two of them had opportunities to leave that were good opportunities.
"Both had the chance to make more money, but they both chose to stay. I'm very fortunate that all of us love living in Chattanooga and that we have a great relationship. We probably exceeded expectations this year, but we can't worry about those lists. If you worry about those lists, you're not going to be on them."
Q: Can I borrow five grand?
A: "The deal doesn't kick in, I don't think, until like July, so you'll have to take a rain check for a couple of months."
Q: You mentioned your assistants. Did UTC get any feelers about you moving along this offseason?
A: "There are people who reach out through third parties and that sort of thing, but there was no real serious discussions about leaving here. I feel comfortable with where we are and that we're building it. I feel good about the guys coming back and good about the guys we recruited.
"I think our program is on really solid footing, especially compared to where we were a year ago."
Q: How are the supervised workouts going with the new guys?
A: "I'm excited, because I finally feel like we have the program up and running. There are a lot of pieces on the inside that people don't see day to day, and the functionality of our program is finally where it needs to be as far as everybody working on the same page. A year ago at this time, I was just trying to find enough players to field a team that could be competitive.
"Now we're helping them off the court with life skills and things you get into coaching for. We're young, but we're going to the Bahamas this summer, which will be a great opportunity for us. The players are really excited about the Bahamas, and the coaches are really excited about the 10 practices leading up to the Bahamas."
Q: How much did you make in your first job in basketball?
A: "My first job in basketball was as a graduate assistant at Clemson, and I made about $7,200 for the entire year. It wasn't a whole lot of money, but I did get graduate classes paid for. I lived in a one-room efficiency with this old, wooden exterior, and when my parents came to visit me, my mom was absolutely mortified that I could live in those conditions.
"I didn't know any better, and I was so excited."
Q: SEC commissioner Mike Slive mentioned last Friday the possibility of the five power conferences breaking away if their proposals are rejected in August. How concerned are you that those 65 schools could form their own basketball tournament?
A: "I don't think they're going to break away. I think they're going to get what they want in August -- or a vast majority of what they want. They make too much money off that basketball tournament to break away."
Q: How much do you plan to watch of the Heat and the Spurs, and who do you like?
A: "I'll watch the entire series, and I'll take the Spurs in six."
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...