Shaka Smart leaving VCU to coach Texas basketball

Apr 3, 2015 2:59 PM by Ross Field

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - University of Texas officials announced the hiring of Shaka Smart as the Longhorns' new basketball coach and expect to introduce him at a news conference Friday on campus.

The official announcement from Texas came a day after Smart met with athletic director Steve Patterson in Richmond, Virginia, to strike a deal.

Smart has spent the past six seasons at Virginia Commonwealth. He's been one of the rising stars among college coaches ever since he led the Rams to the 2011 Final Four.

He replaces Rick Barnes, who was fired last weekend after 17 seasons.

In a statement, Smart said he's "excited" about taking over at Texas and his first priority is developing a relationship with Longhorns players.

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