Shaka Smart signs extension with VCU

You can officially strike Shaka Smart from UCLA’s coaching search.

As multiple outlets pointed toward yesterday, Virginia Commonwealth’s hotly-sought head coach has signed an extension through 2023. Sports Illustrated first reported that the 35-year-old will receive a pay bump to $1.5 million per year, up from $1.2 million. VCU is expected to announce the news officially in the next 24 hours.

SI said Smart turned down an offer from UCLA to stay with the Rams. He has also rejected job offers from Illinois and North Carolina State since leading VCU to a Final Four in 2011. His most recent commitment makes it clear that he wants to stay in Richmond, Va., for the long haul.

With UCLA and Minnesota bandying for his services, Smart certainly could have commanded more than a $1.5 million he reportedly will now make. What he got in the restructured contract, according to SI, included more salary and perks for his staff, along with improved meal and travel for his players.

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Shaka Smart off the market?

One of the top names on UCLA’s coaching search list may be off limits. VCU’s Shaka Smart has been one of the hottest commodities in college basketball since his team’s Final Four run in 2011, but the 35-year-old could be staying in Richmond for the foreseeable future.

Multiple reports today indicate that VCU is working on restructuring Smart’s contract, including increased investment into the Rams program. The news was first reported by Wes McElroy of Richmond’s Sports Radio 910.

Although nothing has been finalized, USA Today reported that the school hopes to reach an agreement with Smart by the end of the week.

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