Coach Smart turns down UCLA, Minnesota, signs extension with VCU

Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel  broke the news tonight that VCU head coach, Shaka Smart, let UCLA know today that he had accepted a contract extension to remain with the Rams.

The extension extends through 2023 and will pay Smart approximately $1.5 million, up from the $1.2 million per year he was previously making.

Thamel reports that the majority of the upgrades to his contract come in the form of improved pay to his staff, improved travel and other perks.

Smart’s name has come up for a number of positions every season since breaking through to the Final 4, this year as the top candidate for both UCLA and Minnesota (headed by former VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague). There were no reports of official offers from either, but it’s widely known he was the main target of both.

Smart has taken VCU to three consecutive NCAA tournaments, winning at least one game in each for a combined record of 7-3 in NCAA tournament play. He won a CBI championship in his first season with the Rams.

VCU returns 74% of their scoring from this past season, including four of their top five scorers, namely Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic who ranked No.1 and No.2 in both scoring and rebounds.

The Rams finished second in the Atlantic 10 in their first season despite a considerable jump in competition.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...