According to numerous reports, what has been rumored for days has come true: Shaka Smart is leaving VCU to become the University of Texas’s next head basketball coach.
The Texas job has been vacant since longtime coach Rick Barnes was fired over the weekend, reportedly because he refused athletic director Steve Patterson’s demand to fire some of his assistant coaches. Barnes had a 17 year run at Texas, but despite pulling in some high profile recruits like Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, never turned the program into a consistent success.
Smart has been one of the hottest mid-major coaching candidates since 2011, when he led VCU on a surprise run to the Final Four as an 11-seed. Around this time last year Milwaukee newscasts reported that Smart had agreed to coach at Marquette, which were later proven to be false reports. If this one is false as well, Smart is playing a late and cruel April Fool’s prank on his players as well:
Photo via Jason Hirschfeld/AP