Apparently staying at a successful mid-major school is becoming all the rage in college basketball. Reports out of Richmond claim that Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart has decided to stay put after being essentially offered the job at North Carolina State.
Smart’s decision to stay at VCU comes on the heels of a report that he’ll be getting a raise to over $1 million there. But still, the N.C. State job offered a significant pay raise over what he would make with the Rams.
Smart and Brad Stevens have both decided that staying with their successful mid-major programs is the best move for them. Frankly, N.C. State isn’t what it used to be, so maybe Smart figures if he continues to build something at VCU he can eventually grab a bigger, better job. He is just 33 years old after all. In two years at VCU – his only two as a head coach at any level – Smart has led the Rams to a 55-21 record, a CBI Championship (in 2010) and the Final Four this year. He’s definitely a name to watch out for in the future.
There are certain to be big jobs open eventually and he’ll definitely be one of the first names mentioned when they do come up.
We absolutely respect Smart’s decision, especially considering the fact that he loses four very important seniors off this roster in Joey Rodriguez, Jamie Skeen, Brandon Rozzell and Ed Nixon. Next year won’t be easy for Smart and the Rams, but he’s sticking with it anyway.
As for N.C. State, we expect them to go after Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall next and think he’ll take the job within the next few days.*
*UPDATE: Reports have now surfaced saying Smart turned down $2 million a year over six years from N.C. State to remain at VCU. Meanwhile, Marshall was also offered the job at $1.9 million per year and turned it down to sign an extension with Wichita State.