Texas Longhorns Appear to Be Zeroing in on VCU’s Shaka Smart as Next Hoops Coach

Rumors have been flying regarding the replacement for Rick Barnes as the new Texas Longhorns basketball coach, and it appears the Longhorns may have found their man.

Texas appears to have found the man they want as the next men’s basketball coach, and it’s reported to be Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart.

Several news outlets, including Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com are reporting that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson is preparing to present an offer to Smart to become the next basketball coach at the University of Texas.

Nothing is done yet, but they are getting very close, according to Goodman.

Smart has been the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth for six seasons and has compiled a record of 163-56 over that time, including taking the Rams to the Final Four in 2011. The following season (2011-12), VCU had its best season under Smart, going 29-7 for the year.

According to ESPN.com’s Goodman, Smart has been courted by a number of schools, especially following VCU’s deep NCAA Tournament run as a Cinderella team in 2011. The VCU coach has spurned all of those opportunities to move on until now. Goodman says Smart has shown interest in the Texas opening.

Texas fired Rick Barnes as the team’s head coach last week after 17 seasons on the Longhorns’ bench. Barnes is reported to have reached an agreement with the University of Tennessee as the Volunteers’ new head coach.

It has not been disclosed what the Longhorns are willing to offer Smart in the way of a contract. The Dallas Morning News has reported Smart’s current salary at VCU to be $1,57 million. excluding incentives.