Shaka Smart Staying At VCU, Signs Extension
Shaka Smart is staying with VCU after turning down at least one job offer and signing an extension with the school. The head basketball coach has built a very successful program at Virginia Commonwealth and seems to always be mentioned as a top candidate when larger schools have an opening.
Despite the fact that the Rams were dismissed from this year’s NCAA Tournament in the round of 32 by Michigan, the school clearly still has quite a bit of confidence in their head coach. This year, Smart drew quite a bit of attention from two schools who just recently got rid of their coachces.
Shaka Smart was apparently on the radar of both UCLA and Minnesota, but it appears that neither school could lure him away from what he had built at VCU. In the end, Smart signed an extension that could have the coach at the school until 2023.
The contract will be paying him a little over $1.5 million a year, but it appears that he signed this particular extension not so much for his own money but rather as a way to force the school to invest more money in facilities.
Smart seems to realize that a coach is only as good as the people around him, and, along those lines, he asked the school for better pay for his coaches, better meals for his players, and other perks for his assistants.
The $1.5 million is actually a rather small boost in pay as he was slated to make $1.2 million this season. The man who has turned VCU into a budding national power has been linked to almost every big time coaching opening in the last few years.
Last year, Nebraska, Illinois, and North Carolina State recruited him. This season it was USC, UCLA, and Minnesota reportedly making a run. His success has helped the school improve their stature in the college basketball world.
VCU moved from the lower tier Colonial Athletic Association to the Atlantic 10 conference this year. The Rams proved they belong by finishing second in the conference in the regular season.
Do you think Shaka Smart made a good choice staying with VCU?