NC State has an eye on VCU head coach Shaka Smart.
Multiple sources told WRAL on Saturday that Smart is a coach of interest for NC State. He was recently contacted by either the Parker search firm or by an NC State intermidiary to gauge his interest in coaching the Wolfpack.
NC State director of athletics Debbie Yow would not comment on the search.
The longer VCU wins, the longer it will be before Smart turns his attention to his future. VCU beat Florida State to advance to the Southwest region finals against Kansas. That’s the deepest NCAA run in VCU school history.
Multiple schools have an interest in hiring Smart. The 33-year old coach is in his second year at VCU, his first head coaching position. He has a 53-20 record at VCU finishing fourth and fifth in the Colonial Conference. The Rams received an at-large bid to this year’s NCAA tournament after losing to Old Dominion in the Colonial tournament finals.
Smart’s salary at VCU is a reported $325,000 but school officials are already working on a new contract that would boost his salary significantly.
Prior to VCU, Smart was an assistant for Billy Donovan at Florida. He has also been an assistant at Clemson, Akron and Dayton.
Smart played point guard at Kenyon College in Ohio where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history.
One thing that SFN would like to note — NC State could be ‘interested’ in, and gathering information on, A LOT a lot of coaches. Since Debbie Yow has the NC State side buttoned up tighter than a [insert whimsical quip here], we only know of coaches getting ‘interest’ if those coaches (or their representatives) leak information.
Additionally, even if information gets leaked from the coaches’ side doesn’t mean that information is accurate. For example, in NC State’s last coaching search in 2006, LSU’s John Brady tried to use the media to attach himself to the search to maneuver for a raise &/or contract extension. It was bush-league…and, it was fun to see him ultimately get fired. Of course, there are other coaches who pull this type of stuff all of the time.
We are not saying that is what is happening with Smart right now…but, I’m not convinced that just because this information has trickled into the public that Smart has catapulted to the top of any legitimate list of Yow’s.
As evidenced by some of the conversation in this thread, most Wolfpackers appear to be more attracted to Smart’s predecessor at VCU, Anthony Grant (who is now at Alabama). You may remember that Grant had been identified/hired by Florida to replace Billy Donovan a few years ago when Donovan did had his change of heart with the Orlando Magic.