University of Texas regents will approve a $22 million deal for new men’s head basketball coach Shaka Smart. Most of the money will also be guaranteed. ESPN reported the story.
Smart agreed to be the Longhorns’ head coach back in April after longtime coach Rick Barnes was let go after 17 years in Austin and seven consecutive seasons of early exits from the NCAA tournament or no trip to the big dance at all.
Now, the school will have Smart for seven years, paying him $2.8 million to start and going as high as $3.3 million towards the deal’s end.
Smart was previously the head coach for the Virginia Commonwealth Rams for six seasons. He went 163-56 in six seasons in Richmond and took home two conference titles (one CAA, one A-10), plus a CBI championship in 2010. The highlight of his tenure with the team was helping VCU to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed in 2011.
He will now be tasked with revitalizing a Longhorns squad that has not advanced past the NCAA tourney’s Round of 32 since 2008, nor made it to the Final Four since 2003. Considering the length and terms of the deal and what he did for VCU, Smart will be worth every penny in Austin.
Texas finished 20-14 (8-10 Big 12) in its final season under Barnes, making the tournament as a No. 11 seed before losing to No. 6 Butler in the Round of 64.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff