Shaka Smart agrees to extension at VCU, not coming to Minnesota
March 27, 2013 — 8:06pm
Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.
Shaka Smart is staying at home, Virginia Commonwealth confirmed Wednesday night with a news release. Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel initially reported the news, saying the VCU head coach agreed to an extension that will keep him in Richmond through 2023 and will pay him $1.5 million annually, up from the $1.2 million Smart was making previously.
"Coach Smart has demonstrated through this process that he is loyal to VCU and his greatest concern lies with our program moving forward every year,” VCU AD Ed McLaughlin said in the news release. “Our goal was to present him with a revised agreement proactively rather than wait for another institution to step in with an offer. I believe we accomplished our goal."
Smart likely would have gotten a substantial raise at either UCLA or Minnesota – which were both reportedly interested in him – but for an individual who has never seemed preoccupied by leaving for more money. The 35-year-old has been wooed by NC State and Illinois, among others, and has turned down significantly larger contracts.
It’s not known how far into the process Minnesota was with Smart, who has ties to athletic director Norwood Teague and associate AD Mike Ellis from their days together at VCU.
Who's now on the top of the wish list? More on that soon.
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.