Shaka Smart to Return as Texas Basketball Coach Next Season, AD Says

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 27, 2020

Texas head coach Shaka Smart signals to his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Texas Tech won 62-57. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Shaka Smart will return for his sixth season as head basketball coach at the University of Texas in 2020-21. 

Speaking to Brian Davis of the American Statesman on Friday, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said Smart is "our coach." 

"Nothing's changed," Del Conte added. "We won five of the last six down the stretch, finished third in the conference. We have a good team coming back. Nothing's changed on my end.”

Speculation about Smart's future at Texas was an ongoing topic dating back to the 2018-19 season. His tenure with the program has been a disappointment, with zero NCAA tournament wins in two appearances. 

After the team missed the NCAA tournament last season, Del Conte told reporters he wouldn't comment on Smart's job status: "That's crazy. ... That's ludicrous talk when we start talking about that stuff in the middle of the season."

Smart was regarded as one of the best coaches in the country during his six-year tenure at VCU from 2009-15. He led the program to the NCAA tournament in each of his last five seasons, including a Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2011. 

Since being hired by Texas in April 2015, Smart has a 90-78 record and is 10 games under .500 in the Big 12 (40-50). The Longhorns won the NIT Championship after the 2018-19 season. 

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