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Texas HC Shaka Smart Tests Positive for COVID-19; Will Work Remotely

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2021

Texas head coach Shaka Smart directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Texas men's basketball head coach Shaka Smart announced Monday he tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation:

Shaka Smart @HookEmSmart

https://t.co/2zZ8dkmJAS

The Longhorns already had two games postponed last week against Iowa State and TCU. The squad is scheduled to face Oklahoma at home on Tuesday.

Assistant K.T. Turner is set to become the team's acting coach while Smart is unavailable, according to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesmen. Smart also said he will work remotely.

The Longhorns have had four games postponed or canceled already in 2020-21.

Smart had previously discussed caution with the protocols even if both teams are cleared with negative tests.

"Just because five minutes before the game you feel, 'Okay, we get to go do this, we get to go play,' that doesn't guarantee that everything is 100 percent safe," the coach said earlier this month, per Stephen Wagner of the Dallas Morning News.

Texas is off to a strong start to the season, currently ranked No. 5 in the latest Associated Press poll. The 11-2 squad reached as high as No. 4 in the poll for the school's best ranking since 2010-11.

Smart is in his sixth year with the program since joining from VCU, but his squads struggled with consistency in his first five years, with a 90-78 overall record and zero wins in the NCAA tournament.

With early-season wins over West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina, Texas could be destined for more success this time around.

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