Shaka Smart
American basketball player and coach
Shaka Smart
Shaka Smart is an American college basketball coach, and the current head coach of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams men's basketball program. Before accepting the job at VCU, Smart served as an assistant coach for the Akron Zips, Clemson Tigers, and Florida Gators men's basketball programs.
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WVU's Bob Huggins: On-court scare caused by defibrillator going off
ABC News - 7 days
West Virginia?coach Bob Huggins gave the home crowd a scare as he fell to his knees on the court during a break in action Monday night. Huggins appeared to be clutching his chest and was looked at by medical professionals shortly before halftime of the 12th-ranked Mountaineers' 77-62 win over? Texas. The veteran coach was examined at halftime and told ESPN's Holly Rowe that his "defibrillator went off." Huggins added that he is fine, but it felt like someone slammed him in the back. Shaka Smart, Texas' head coach, wished Huggins well on the court before the start of the second half. In his postgame news conference, after reiterating he was OK, Huggins was asked if he was afraid he was going to get hit with a technical foul when he dropped to his knees on the court. "I'm surprised I didn't; I'm actually shocked I didn't," Huggins said with a smile. Huggins was asked later in his postgame presser about the examination he underwent. ...
Article Link:
ABC News article
Asian Stock Markets Off to Shaky Start
The Wall Street Journal - about 1 year
China shares slid Monday, and losses in other regional markets deepened, as a rout that knocked trillions of dollars off global stocks last week ricochets back to Asia.
Article Link:
The Wall Street Journal article
Roundup: Longhorns Fell Tar Heels at the Buzzer
NYTimes - about 1 year
A second-chance jumper by Javan Felix gave the Longhorns’ new coach, Shaka Smart, a victory over the No. 3 Tar Heels.
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NYTimes article
UT’s Smart, Aston, Garrido land signing-day hauls
Houston Chronicle - over 1 year
AUSTIN — Even from China, Texas men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart made sure the signatures came through. Smart, out of the country preparing for Friday’s season opener against Washington in Shanghai, announced the signings of two national Top-100 prospects Wednesday. James Banks of Decatur, Georgia, and Jacob Young of Houston Yates both will join the Longhorns next season. Banks, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center who will play this season at La Lumiere High School in Indiana, is ranked as the country’s No. 45 recruit by Scout and No. 56 by ESPN. Young, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard, is ranked No. 85 by Scout and No. 91 by Rivals. Also on Wednesday, UT women’s coach Karen Aston signed a four-member class highlighted by 6-foot-3 guard/forward Joyner Holmes of Cedar Hill. Holmes is the nation’s No. 2 overall recruit, according to ESPN. UT baseball coach Augie Garrido announced the signings of 12 players, including Louisiana infielder Ryan Reynolds, the son of former UT pitcher and majo ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Newcomers shine as UT students pack Gregory for basketball scrimmage
Houston Chronicle - over 1 year
AUSTIN — In the middle of campus — catty-corner from the undergraduate library and across the street from the University of Texas’ largest dormitory — the lines of burnt-orange clad fans stretched out of Gregory Gym and around the block. A curious passer-by, having never before seen such a spectacle in that area, tapped a stranger on the shoulder. “What’s going on in there?” she asked. The answer, Shaka Smart hoped, was the beginning of a new trend in Texas men’s basketball. In a Wednesday night scrimmage that filled venerable Gregory Gym nearly to its capacity, Smart’s Longhorns displayed an up-tempo, high-energy style of play that seemed to generate some genuine enthusiasm in the crowd of 3,129. And although veteran holdovers such as Isaiah Taylor, Demarcus Holland and Cameron Ridley all excelled at times in Smart’s revamped system, the stars of the night were the newcomers. Kerwin Roach, the crazy-athletic freshman guard, led all players with 18 points and five assists, ...
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Houston Chronicle article
UT basketball coach Shaka Smart adds highly rated center
Houston Chronicle - over 1 year
AUSTIN — When he became head men’s basketball coach at Texas, Shaka Smart inherited a stable of big men. Now he’s adding his own. James Banks, a 6-11 Indiana high school center ranked by ESPN and Scout as one of the nation’s top 60 recruits, announced Thursday he’s committed to joining the Longhorns in 2016. Banks joins guard Jacob Young — the younger brother of NBA guard Joe Young — in Smart’s latest recruiting class. Banks should help replace frontcourt players Cameron Ridley, Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh, who are seniors this season. As a junior at Mount Vernon Christian in Georgia last season, Banks averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds per game. He transferred to La Lumiere in Indiana during the summer. Banks also visited Vanderbilt before choosing the Longhorns.
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
OSU’s Gundy says UT’s Wickline made lateral move
Houston Chronicle - almost 2 years
AUSTIN — A fourth football coach has provided sworn testimony in an ongoing $600,000 legal dispute between Big 12 rivals. And unlike his three counterparts from Texas, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy says his former assistant didn’t leave the Cowboys for a promotion. In an April 22 deposition related to OSU’s lawsuit against former offensive line coach Joe Wickline, Gundy testified that Wickline made a lateral move when he joined Charlie Strong’s staff at UT in 2014. A copy of Gundy’s deposition was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. Earlier this year, Strong, Wickline and UT quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson testified in separate depositions that Wickline has play-calling responsibilities with the Longhorns. Wickline’s contract at OSU, where he coached from 2005-’13, called for him to pay a buyout of about $600,000 unless he left for a job as an offensive coordinator “with play-calling duties.” UT lists Wickline as its offensive coordinator, but Strong and Watson have both ...
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Houston Chronicle article
Shaka Smart introduced as Texas coach
Herald Tribune - almost 2 years
Article Link:
Herald Tribune article
Texas hires Shaka Smart
USA Today - almost 2 years
Smart led the Rams to a 163-56 record in six years.           
Article Link:
USA Today article
Shaka Smart The Eyes of Texas are upon you
Heartland Connection - almost 2 years
Article Link:
Heartland Connection article
UT athletic director Steve Patterson in Virginia hoping to snag Shaka Smart
Houston Chronicle - almost 2 years
Potential replacements for Rick Barnes AUSTIN — Texas athletic director Steve Patterson is on the ground in Virginia. By the time he’s in the air again, he hopes to have Shaka Smart with him. With multiple TV crews awaiting his arrival at a Richmond-area airport on Thursday afternoon, Patterson landed in a private jet and hopped into a waiting Hyundai SUV. UT sources have confirmed Patterson intends to meet with Smart, the Virginia Commonwealth men’s basketball coach, and convince him to accept an offer to take the same job with the Longhorns. Smart, 37, rose to prominence in 2011, when he led the Rams to their first Final Four. In six seasons at VCU, he’s never won fewer than 26 games, and has earned five consecutive NCAA tournament bids. At VCU, Smart earns $1.57 million per year. Rick Barnes, who was forced out last weekend after 17 seasons with the Longhorns, ...
Article Link:
Houston Chronicle article
NetScouts Basketball's National Prep School Invitational All-Tournament Team
Huffington Post Sports - about 3 years
The final votes are in. Here is the 2014 National Prep School Invitational All-Tournament Team. Thanks to all the players, fans and coaches for making the 16th annual NPSI a big success! Most Outstanding Player: Jalen Adams, Cushing Academy (MA): The 6'2" rising junior averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals in two Cushing wins, the last a 2-point win over West Oaks in which Adams made an incredible pass for the winning score. Sidy Ndir, West Oaks (FL) High School: The Texas A&M recruit impressed with his athleticism, quick first-step and his shooting ability. Ndir averaged 21 points and 4.3 assists over four games. Yuta Watanabe, St. Thomas More (CT): The 6'7" point forward from Japan committed to George Washington this week. He averaged 13.3 points and 4.3 rebounds over three games. Devonte Graham, Brewster Academy (NH): Graham, who signed with Appalachian State and has since blown up and is being recruited by many high majors, showed why he's garneri ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post Sports article
Illinois State loses opener to No. 14 VCU
Chicago Times - over 3 years
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Commonwealth's identity under coach Shaka Smart has been as a team that wins off forcing turnovers and converting them into points.     
Article Link:
Chicago Times article
First Hand Impressions of Three UCLA Coaches: Jim Mora, Steve Alford & Cori Close
Bruins Nation - over 3 years
As a recent UCLA alumni, I was invited to a UCLA On the Road event, which featured a panel with former Bruins QB, Matt Stevens, Coach Cori Close, Coach Steve Alford and Coach Jim Mora and decided to check it out with a fellow alumni friend of mine. I figured many of you who have not heard our coaches speak in person, would be interested in my impression of the coaches, their visions for their respective programs and their philosophies. Coach Cori Close Our women's basketball program is in very good hands right now. In fact, if Coach was still with us today, I am very willing to bet Dan Guerrero's job that Coach would have approved of her hire and her coaching philosophies. Coach Close was impressive, articulate and knows exactly what she expects out of her team year in and year out - to play together as a team and win the right way instead of focusing on individual performances or accolades. I admit that I did not know much about Coach Close prior to the event but learned ...
Article Link:
Bruins Nation article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Shaka Smart
  • 2015
    Age 37
    On April 2, 2015, Smart accepted an offer to become the new men's head basketball coach at Texas.
    More Details Hide Details Smart's teams play an upbeat style of basketball known as "havoc." Smart described his "havoc" defensive philosophy during his introductory press conference as, "We are going to wreak havoc on our opponent's psyche and their plan of attack." On the court, the "havoc" defensive mindset is visible through the heavy use of the full court press and pressing after made baskets to disrupt opponents' timing of offensive sets. The Rams have consistently maintained one of the most efficient and disruptive defenses in the nation, ranking 1st nationally in both turnovers and steals forced per possession from 2011-2014. Offensively, Smart-coached teams play uptempo, push the ball after misses, and run a weave-heavy motion offense. Smart's given name was bestowed in honor of the famous Zulu warrior. He graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon with a degree in History, researching and writing on issues related to race and the Great Migration his junior and senior years. Smart received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and earned a master's degree in social science at California University of Pennsylvania. He developed a love for quotations at Kenyon. Smart began writing down quotes into a digital document that is now over 110 pages long. He also likes nature documentaries featuring big cats.
  • 2013
    Age 35
    On January 19, 2013, Shaka Smart became the second youngest active coach to win 100 games, in a 90-63 victory over Duquesne.
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  • 2011
    Age 33
    On April 4, 2011, Smart agreed to an 8-year contract extension with VCU, increasing his base pay from $350,000 to $1.2 million per year, prior to any performance bonuses.
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  • 2010
    Age 32
    The Rams under Smart went 23–11 in the 2010–2011 season.
    More Details Hide Details Smart led the Rams to their second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game, where they lost to Old Dominion. Despite not securing the automatic bid, VCU earned an at-large bid to the Southwest region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Rams were one of the last four teams invited, and were placed in the "First Four" against USC for a spot in the main 64-team tournament bracket. The Rams' selection into the tournament was widely criticized. His coaching strategy, positive outlook, and patience helped VCU defeat USC in the First Four, and then upset the 6th-seeded Georgetown Hoyas and 3rd-seeded Purdue Boilermakers to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. VCU won 72–71 against Florida State University in overtime to earn the school's first spot in the Elite Eight and subsequently upset the top-seeded University of Kansas 71–61 for its first Final Four appearance. But in the Final Four, the Rams lost to Butler 70-62.
    Smart's second season began with forward Larry Sanders declaring for the 2010 NBA Draft after his junior season. Sanders' selection by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th pick made VCU the first school in the Commonwealth of Virginia to have a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in consecutive years, as the Utah Jazz had selected guard Eric Maynor with the 20th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
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  • 2009
    Age 31
    VCU hired Smart to be the head coach in the spring of 2009 after the program's previous coach, Anthony Grant, left to become the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team.
    More Details Hide Details Smart's hire made him the 10th-youngest head coach in Division I. In his first season, he led the Rams to a 27–10 season and a CBI Championship after VCU swept Saint Louis in the championship best-of-three series.
  • 2008
    Age 30
    Smart is a supporter of President Barack Obama, for whom he campaigned in Florida in 2008 and Virginia in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details These former assistant coaches or players of Smart later became head coaches:
  • 1999
    Age 21
    Smart began his coaching career in 1999 as an assistant at California University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a master's degree.
    More Details Hide Details Afterwards, he was hired as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Dayton. He was then an assistant at the University of Akron for three years, Clemson for two, and Florida for one.
  • 1977
    Born on April 8, 1977.
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