Will Wade got a little closer to completing his first coaching staff at LSU on Wednesday with the hiring of Greg Heiar, who was an assistant coach at Wichita State for the past six seasons.
The 41-year-old Heiar is the second assistant to be named to Wade’s staff. The Dubuque, Iowa, native joins former North Texas head coach Tony Benford, who was hired March 28.
“It is exciting that Greg Heiar will be joining our staff at LSU,” Wade said in a news release. “His experience and passion for the game both as a top assistant and as a head coach has been proven over and over by being a consistent winner everywhere he has been.
“His ability to recruit great players at every coaching stop makes him an outstanding fit as we work to put the pieces together for the future success of LSU basketball.”
Heiar was the top assistant for coach Gregg Marshall at Wichita State, where he worked with the guards and helped lead the Shockers to 179 victories and six NCAA tournament bids — including a trip to the Final Four in 2013.
Heiar tutored Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, a pair of All-Americans who signed NBA contracts after the 2016 season. VanVleet was the MVC player of the year in 2014 and 2016, and Baker finished in the top 10 on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Wichita State also won five Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles during his six years on the job. Before that, Heiar was an assistant at Southern Miss for two seasons from 2009-11 when the Golden Eagles won 20 games each year.
“I’m super-excited and looking forward to the challenge that we have in front of us,” Heiar said. “Coach Wade is someone I have known for a long time and he is someone I respect for his relentless work ethic, energy and knowledge for the game and the family atmosphere approach he preaches daily.
“Coach Wade is about building strong relationships, is a proven winner and a relentless recruiter. I’m excited to come to work with and for him and his staff.”
Heiar was head coach at Chipola (Florida) Junior College for five seasons from 2004-09 after serving one year as an assistant there.
As a head coach, he compiled a 164-15 record and was named the Panhandle Conference’s coach of the year five times and Region VIII coach of the year four times. He guided Chipola to four national junior college tournaments, finishing third in 2009.
In his time at Chipola, Heiar coached 40 all-conference players and sent 39 players to Division I schools.
In accordance with NCAA rules, Wade can add one more bench coach to his staff.
Last week, Wade hired Nelson Harnandez as director of operations, Greg Goldin as strength and conditioning coach, and Tasmin Mitchell as director of player development.
Hernandez and Goldin both were members of Wade's staff at VCU last season.
While power forward Mayan Kiir was expected to sign with LSU on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period, there was no announcement from the school.
A text message sent to Victory Rock Prep coach Loren Jackson, who told The Advocate on Tuesday that Kiir was set to sign with the Tigers, was not returned.
On Wednesday, TigerRag.com reported that LSU will get a visit this weekend from Northwest Florida State College guard Daryl Edwards, the No. 23 junior college prospect in the country who was offered a scholarship by Wade before he left VCU and also recruited him when he was head coach at Chattanooga.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard was expected to visit UNLV this weekend, but pushed back the visit to make the trek to Baton Rouge.
Edwards, a Houston native who averaged 13.6 points a game and shot 46.6 percent from 3-point range last season, has listed his four finalists (in no particular order) as LSU, Iowa State, Utah and UNLV.