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Shaka Smart

Category: Coaches
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Biography:

Head Coach and Sports Speaker Shaka Smart was the man behind the plan for all of those upset victories during the VCU Rams’ magical run  to the Final Four during the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Shaka is credited with building one of the strongest mid-major basketball programs in the nation at Virginia Commonwealth University over the past six years. He led the Rams to the NCAA Tournament five out of the six years he spent with the team. In 2015, Sports Speaker Shaka Smart was chosen as the new head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team.

Sports Speaker Shaka Smart was an assistant coach at Clemson and Florida before accepting the head coaching job with VCU in 2009. In his first season as head coach, Shaka led the Rams to a CBI Conference Championship. In 2011, Shaka’s life would change forever. His team defeated big name schools such as Southern California, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and eventually #1 seed Kansas during the NCAA Tournament. The run was VCU’s first ever Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four appearances in school history. Shaka is known for his havoc brand of defense in which his teams use a full court press to force opponent into turnovers. In each of his six years at VCU, Shaka led his teams to an impressive 26 or more wins. In 2013, he became the second youngest active coach to achieve 100 victories at the Division 1 level.

Shaka is humbled by his success and driven to achieve even more in the future. He supports many charitable groups including FRIENDS Association for Children and Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. He was a part of the Shaka Smart John Rollins Golf Charity, teaming up with NASCAR drivers Elliot and Hermie Sadler as well as PGA Tour Pro John Rollins. Every year, Shaka puts on the Shaka Smart Basketball Camp teaching up and coming players his tricks of the trade.

Sports Speaker Shaka Smart is humbled by his success and driven to achieve even more in the future.