Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After VCU coach Shaka Smart turned down N.C. State, the Rams locked their coach up with an eight-year contract extension.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that his base pay increased to $1.2 million annually from $325,000.
“Coach Smart’s contributions to the university are unquantifiable,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “His character, intelligence and pursuit of excellence embody VCU’s core values.”
Smart led the program to its first-ever Final Four and was courted by N.C. State, which has now swung and missed on Smart, Arizona’s Sean Miller, Memphis’ Josh Pastner, Texas’ Rick Barnes, Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon and Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall. Marshall also agreed to an extension Monday.
“True to form, Coach Smart’s primary concerns were about his players, coaches and the overall support of the basketball program,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague said. “We are honored that he has decided to stay a VCU Ram. He embodies everything that is right about college athletics, and VCU is ecstatic about the future under his leadership.”
At the age of 33, Smart is among the 10 youngest head coaches at the Division I level and has guided the Rams to 55 wins over the past two seasons. That is the highest win total over any two-year span in VCU history.
“I’m extremely grateful for the belief that Dr. Rao and Norwood Teague have shown and continue to show in our coaching staff and basketball program,” Smart said. “Their support, in addition to the bright future that our student-athletes possess, make VCU a very special place for me to be the head basketball coach. I’m very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for both our program and our university.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.