Shaka Smart Staying on as VCU Rams Head Coach

Collin KottkeCorrespondent IIIMarch 27, 2013

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 21:  \Head coach Shaka Smart of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams looks on against the Akron Zips during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 21, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Shaka is staying at VCU. I’m sorry Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball fans, but ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that Shaka Smart is staying on as the head coach of Virginia Commonwealth. Those reports are stating that Shaka Smart’s new deal with VCU will keep him as the Rams head coach through the 2023 season.

Naturally, Smart did get a pay raise going from $1.2 million to $1.5 million per year. Smart’s contract was bumped up to $1.2 million when he led the Rams to the Final Four in 2011.

Shaka Smart has been the hot candidate for high profile gigs over the past couple of seasons. Last season he most notably turned down Illinois and this season he turned down two other schools.

UCLA was looking to hire Shaka Smart to lead the Bruins back into the limelight after Ben Howland was fired after bringing the school to multiple Final Four appearances.

Smart’s name was also linked to the University of Minnesota, where former VCU Athletics Director and current Gophers Athletic Director Norwood Teague is employed. The Minnesota job opened up after the firing of Tubby Smith, who never finished higher than sixth in six years in the Big Ten.

Money, nor tradition, nor old friends could sway Shaka away from Virginia Commonwealth. Smart will keep his high intensity ‘Havoc’ defense in Richmond.

Shaka Smart’s all time record currently stands at 111-36 overall and 50-20 in conference. VCU’s move from the Colonial Athletic Conference to the Atlantic Ten Conference also makes Shaka’s decision to stay at VCU more understandable.

Good luck to the likes of UCLA and Minnesota in their coaching search, because VCU has Shaka Smart tied up for a long time.