Shaka Smart turns down Minnesota, UCLA to stay at VCU
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The Shaka Smart dream has died.
Virginia Commonwealth University announced Wednesday evening that Smart -- perhaps the hottest young coaching commodity in college basketball -- has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him on the Rams' sideline through 2023.
The deal will reportedly pay Smart $1.5 million a year -- up from his current $1.2 million salary.
"Coach Smart has demonstrated through this process that he is loyal to VCU and his greatest concern lies with our program moving forward every year," said VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin in a statement. "Our goal was to present him with a revised agreement proactively rather than wait for another institution to step in with an offer.
"I believe we accomplished our goal."
According to a Sports Illustrated report, Smart, 35, asked VCU for raises for his coaching staff, better meals for his players and improved travel accomodations.
Smart owns a 111-36 record in four years at VCU, including a trip to the Final Four in 2011. VCU also finished second place in its first year in the Atlantic 10 Conference this year.