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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Shaka Smart reportedly in talks with Texas about head coaching job

Shaka Smart

Texas could be replacing Rick Barnes with Shaka Smart if all goes their way.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reports that Smart is in discussions with the Longhorns about their head coaching position, which became vacant when the program parted ways with Barnes Saturday after 17 seasons on the job.

Smart has been at VCU since 2009 and emerged as one of the top young coaches in the country after taking the Rams to the Final Four in 2011. He received attention for his leadership abilities and “havoc” defensive style.

Smart has won at least 26 games in every season since taking the VCU job in 2009 and has led his squad to the NCAA Tournament five years in a row. The 37-year-old has been a top target for many programs with vacancies over the past few years, but he has turned down all suitors, including Maryland, Wake Forest, UCLA, NC State, Marquette and Illinois, among others.

According to Rothstein, this job could be the one that persuades Smart to leave VCU. If the Longhorns are unable to land Smart, they reportedly will turn to Xavier’s Chris Mack and Utah’s Larry Krystowiak, who formerly coached the Milwaukee Bucks.

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