Virginia Commonwealth University head coach Shaka Smart is celebrating despite the Rams' loss to Butler in the NCAA national basketball tournament semifinals. Eric Matuszewski of Bloomberg is reporting that Shaka Smart has turned his team's Final Four run into gold.
Smart has been offered an eight-year deal that will quadruple his coaching pay from $325,000 a year to $1.2 million. Smart, 33, has a 55-21 record in two seasons at Richmond, Virginia-based VCU and was considered a candidate for schools from power conferences with coaching vacancies.
The Rams' postseason run featured upsets of schools from the Pacific 10, Big East, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Big 12 conferences. It was the first time that VCU, which has an enrollment of 32,000, won more than one game at the NCAA tournament.
Smart, who was previously an assistant to University of Florida coach Billy Donovan, said he's grateful for the belief that Rao and VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague have shown in the basketball program.
Matuszewski reports, "Their support, in addition to the bright future that our student-athletes possess, make VCU a very special place for me to be the head basketball coach," Smart said. "I'm very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for both our program and our university."
Taking your midmajor to the Final Four, putting your school on the national map, stressing academics and athletics, and getting paid for it? It is good to be Shaka Smart. Cue Dana Dane.
Read more at Bloomberg.
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