Shaka Smart Agrees to Stay at VCU until 2023
NCAA College Basketball
Shaka Smart will continue to coach Virginia Commonwealth University's hoops team through 2023, with changes in his contract already being finalized.
Majority of changes involve ''program enhancements for the student-athletes and coaches,'' said athletic director Ed McLaughlin.
Smart's name has come up in high-profile coaching searches and was pursued by North Carolina State two years ago and Illinois last season.
With openings at places such as UCLA, Southern Cal and Minnesota already developing this offseason, VCU wanted to give him a new deal to be proactive in the face of certain interest from elsewhere, McLaughlin said.
Smart led the VCU Rams to the Final Four in 2011 in his second season at the school and as a head coach. He had his contract restructured afterward, signing an eight-year deal on April 4, 2011, with his financial payout going to more than $1.2 million. He earned about $1.5 million this season, including incentives.
He also coached the Rams to the NCAA tournament both in 2012 and this season, reaching the third round in each of the past two seasons.
VCU, which moved from the CAA to the Atlantic 10, finished second in each conference the past two seasons.
Smart is 111-37 in four years, the sixth-most wins in the country over that stretch and the second-most for a coach in his first four seasons. VCU also is one of just eight schools to have won an NCAA tournament game each of the past four years, joining Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State, Florida, Syracuse, Marquette and Gonzaga.
VCU's had 35 consecutive sellouts at its home arena, the Siegel Center, before a crowd that feeds off the Rams' intense, 94-foot pressuring style known as ''havoc.''
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