VCU gets Smart, retains coach with long-term extension

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


More success, more suitors, more of the same for Shaka Smart.
The 35-year-old Virginia Commonwealth coach again spurned lucrative deals from larger programs to remain with the Rams. He's expected to agree to an extension that will likely significantly increase his base annual salary of $1.25 million, Sports Illustrated reported.
Smart was high on the wish lists of UCLA and Minnesota. But for the third straight year, he never seriously entertained overtures to leave Richmond.
Smart has coached at VCU since 2009 and made the Final Four in 2011. Illinois attempted to lure the Wisconsin native back to the Midwest, but VCU sweetened his deal with incentives and announced a move to the Atlantic 10 Conference from the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Rams finished 27-9, second in the A-10, and won their NCAA Tournament opener. VCU lost its second game to Michigan, 78-53, and the rumor mill began to churn about where Smart might wind up in 2013.
Minnesota fired coach Tubby Smith after a third-round NCAA Tournament loss. Athletic director Norwood Teague helped hire Smart, a former Florida assistant, at VCU in 1999 to replace Anthony Grant.

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