Shaka Smart Turns Down North Carolina State, Staying At VCU

April 4, 2011 – 3:03 pm by Ryan Phillips

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.

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  1. 8 Responses to “Shaka Smart Turns Down North Carolina State, Staying At VCU”

  2. So Mr. Goodman, I have to ask, will the NCSU job be a good move for ANYBODY in your opinion. You seem to take pleasure in equating NC State to the college basketball coaching graveyard. You may have a point as they have not been relevant for some time. However, this irrelevancy didn’t start 5 years ago. Your friend, who shall remain nameless, had just as much to do with sucking the air out of this coaching position as anyone. I doubt you want to talk much about that with his recent coaching troubles. I’m not sure what we did to you, but your contempt for NC State seems personal.

    By bernardgoodie on Apr 4, 2011

  3. Who are you referring to here? And NC State isn’t the job it used to be. That doesn’t mean the Wolfpack can’t get back to where they want to be, but it’s certainly a tough situation. Smart is comfortable where he is and I respect his decision to stay at a smaller school for less money.

    Good for him.

    By Phillips on Apr 5, 2011

  4. See, Phillips? This is the delusion I’m talking about with NC State fans. For the past couple of weeks, they’ve been saying “OH, we’d be so stupid NOT to hire Shaka Smart!” And now this. Beautiful.

    As for the irrelevancy from five years ago, NC State fans ran Sendek out of town. He only took the team to the tournament on a consistent basis, running them to the sweet sixteen a couple of times. And then when Sendek was run out of town to ASU, Lee Fowler was on the phone with EVERY coach in the country trying to find someone-anyone–to take over the program. I know the line, the job was only offered to three people. That’s probably because everyone else let the call go straight to voice mail.

    So, to answer the question, would the NCSU job be good for anyone? As long as they don’t mind dealing with a completely delusional fan base while coaching on a campus that has all the grace and charm of a gulag against two of the best programs in the history of the sport with a promise of being fired in the next three to five years, then yes, it would be great job for anyone!

    By MJenks on Apr 5, 2011

  5. MJ,
    You’re apparently completely right. Hat tip to you my friend.

    You need to get in on our next live blog. Would love to have your voice contributing to the madness.

    By Phillips on Apr 5, 2011

  6. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.


    Mark Gottfried.


    By MJenks on Apr 5, 2011

  7. At least you took a breath, when I heard the news I was worried you’d actually die laughing.

    By Phillips on Apr 5, 2011

  8. I was stuck in traffic when the news came across the radio. I did laugh pretty long and hard when the AD blamed Gary Williams for no one wanting the NC State job.

    Because, you know, candidates were lining up out the door last time they did this.

    By MJenks on Apr 6, 2011

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  2. Mar 21, 2012: Shaka Smart Turns Down Illinois, Will Remain at VCU

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