Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart is staying with the Rams after leading them on a surprising Final Four run.
The school said yesterday that Smart agreed to a new eight-year contract.
Details of the deal will be released once the contract is signed.
“We are honored that he has decided to stay a VCU Ram,’’ said athletic director Norwood Teague in a statement. “He exemplifies everything that is right about college athletics, and VCU is ecstatic about the future under his leadership.’’
The second-year coach led VCU from one of the “First Four’’ games in the NCAA Tournament to the Final Four. VCU became only the third No. 11 seed to get that far, losing to Butler, 70-62, in Saturday’s national semifinals.
Smart, who turns 34 Friday, was frequently mentioned for other coaching vacancies.
Team spokesman Scott Day said North Carolina State had recently offered Smart its top job.
“I’m extremely grateful for the belief that [VCU president Michael Rao] and Norwood Teague have shown and continue to show in our coaching staff and basketball program,’’ Smart said in a statement.
The school said Smart, who has a 55-21 record at VCU and led the Rams to the CBI championship in his first year, had a base salary of $325,000 this season and was due to make $640,000 in all with performance bonuses.
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